Paula (Penny) Richey |

Paula (Penny) Richey

Dec. 26, 1947 — July 5, 2017

Penny was born December 26, 1947, Cedar Falls, IA. Her parents were Lillian and Rudolph Nielsen.

Penny was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, H.E. Richey; her children: Piper and Tyler Smith, Regan Richey, Hank Richey, Adam and Michelle Richey; her brothers: David and Marshall Nielsen; and her grandchildren: Josie, Rowan, Sloan and Elle.

Penny moved to Aspen in the 1970s where she met her husband, H.E. They worked in the pharmacy business until Penny embraced her calling as an entertainer and party maven when she purchased “Balloon Affairs” with the white “party van” which had the motto “have your next affair with the balloon lady” painted on the van. Soon Penny became known to Aspenites as “Sparkles” the clown and brought joy to hundreds of people when she decorated and entertained numerous special events.

Penny will be remembered as one of the “most fun” people anyone who met her ever knew. Her joyfulness and love of life were infectious.

Loving life and parties so profoundly Penny postponed her death to the day after the Fourth of July telling her loved ones she wanted to be around for one more party. She will be deeply missed and leaves a legacy of making the people’s lives she met just a little bit happier.

A celebration of Penny’s life will take place on September 23, 2017 at Fraternal Order of the Eagles from 2:00-4:00pm. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to The Sunshine Kids (

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