Pepper Gomes died surrounded by his loved ones in Aspen, CO on May 19, 2017 following a brief courageous struggle with liver cancer. He is survived by his wife Susan, daughters Lauren of Aspen CO and Shayne Graham of Kennesaw GA. Born July 17, 1944 in Framingham, MA Pepper grew up in Ashland, later moving to Natick MA.
Upon graduation he enlisted in the Army where he distinguished himself by becoming a member of the United States 3rd Infantry division created in 1784. He was assigned to the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery (1963 to 1966) as Sergeant of the 1st Firing Party. Pepper participated in President John F. Kennedy’s funeral and guarded the eternal flame at Kennedy’s gravesite. His service to his countrymen continued locally as a Color Guard Team member for Veteran’s and Memorial Days ceremonies.
In the late sixties Pepper moved to Aspen falling in love with the mountains and community. He taught skiing for close to 50 years at the Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk Ski Areas. His special abilities to bring out the best in people made him a remarkably effective ski teacher. Pepper was also known as the Voice of the Aspen Highlands for his witty commentary at the Hot Dog contests. From 1980 to 1984 Pepper was Ski School Director at Mountain High/Holiday Hill Ski Area in Wrightwood, CA. A direct man with a generous heart he will long be remembered for his humor, intellect, and charm.
A memorial service will be at Aspen Chapel, 2:00 p.m. Thursday, June 1st. In lieu of flowers, consider donating in Pepper’s memory to hutsforvets.org. A memorial fund is set up at Alpine Bank.