Obituary: Leslie Kelly Thomas
Leslie Kelly Thomas 1962 – 2020
Leslie Kelly Thomas passed from this world, June 15, 2020 in Denver, Co. from the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. She has been a resident of the Snowmass-Basalt area for over 30 years. Leslie was born in 1962 in Augusta, Georgia. She lived for short periods in Seattle and Santa Fe, New Mexico while her father completed his medical service before moving to Forsyth, Georgia for 4 years. In 1969 the family moved to Panama Canal Zone where Leslie enjoyed her childhood and youth with her two sisters and many friends. As a young child Leslie loved animals and seemed to have an extraordinary ability to communicate with every animal she encountered. She loved to run and won first place in a distant runner competition. In Panama Leslie began horse riding competing in dressage and jumping, thus beginning her lifelong love for horses. She was an experienced scuba diver.
Leslie attended Emory University and the University of Georgia majoring in science.
She moved to Aspen in 1986 and married in 1988.
Leslie soon moved to Moon Run Ranch and participated in outfitting, taking visitors on horseback into the magnificent mountains surrounding Aspen. Her longtime friend shared “Leslie was a bold, brave and level-headed friend especially in times of crisis. When something went wrong, she would become silent, then assess the situations and react in a logical stalwart manner. I could always count on Leslie.”
In Snowmass she was an integral part of beginning the Wildcat Ranch development. She continued her horse riding and developed skills to train horses and teach others. In Basalt she and son, Tyre, participated and supported the Roaring Fork Hounds Pony Club. Leslie was the co-leader of the club for many years, teaching her son who attained the Level C-3 in show jumping. He is currently the only Colorado rider to attain that level.
While working at Aspen Skiing Co., she also was a member of the Roaring Fork Valley Horse Council to develop trails for horse riders. A Council member described her as a very intelligent, hardworking and competent woman who was quick to brainstorm a project and always sure to see it through to completion. Leslie cared deeply about the environment, and her work with the Roaring Fork Horse Council and the trail system will continue forward for all riders to enjoy.
Leslie’s final contribution was her desire to donate her cornea and skin tissue to help others.
Leslie is survived by her son, Tyre Thomas, mother, Carrietta Pepper, sisters Jenna Kelly and Carrill McKenzie, and nephew and niece Landon and Catherine McKenzie.
Leslie was a member of the Baha’i Faith. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, June 19 at the Basalt Fairfield Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are being provided by Farnum Holt Funeral Home in Glenwood Springs.
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