Pietro (aka Pete) Danieli died on February 25, 2018 due to complications from a stroke at the Aspen Valley Hospital. He was born on July 7, 1929 in Padua, Italy. He grew up in nearby Vicenza.
Shortly after the second World War he came to the US and went on to see much of the world as a Merchant Marine. Due to his great love of the mountains he joined the 10th Mountain Division & discovered nearby Aspen while on furlough from Camp Hale and returned to settle there in 1950. He married Dorothy Stead and they had 2 children, Michael and Ann. The marriage ended in divorce.
His innate skills and talents were legendary: Always modest in his attainments, he built treasured rustic homes both in the Valley (his first being next to the Glory Hole Park at the base of Aspen Mountain) and further afield. An accomplished chef, his dinners were memorable for their good conversation and splendid fare. Pietro taught skiing for 30 years for the Aspen Skiing Co and people still talk of his beautiful, tall skiing style, often described as being ‘like a butterfly’.
Before the Wienerstube Restaurant closed, Pietro enjoyed the company of friends, young and old, who regularly joined him at the Stammtisch table.
Pietro and Carol, his longtime companion, spent most of their summers traveling throughout Europe, mainly in Italy, in their VW camper, including an adventure on their boat cruising down the canals from Brussels to the Mediterranean.
A 1982 Haute Route trip from Chamonix to Zermatt is remembered fondly by the 9 Aspen locals who were joined by Pietro, Fritz Benedict and Jack Frishman. Every day after crossing glaciers and skirting séracs, upon arrival at the next hut the three senior, charismatic gentlemen would strip down to their trousers, open a bottle of red and proceed to take each others blood pressure and pulse.
If you were fortunate enough to have taken a trip to Italy with Pietro, you would have indelible memories of the geography, history, and food of his beloved native country.
Always modest, Pietro was a true Renaissance man who represented everything that was good about old Aspen. A voracious reader, with a sparkle in his eye, his engaging and irreverent sense of humor endeared him to all. There was no better friend whether coming to one’s rescue to fix a plumbing issue or just to sit with one over a cup of tea.
Pietro was predeceased by his mother Teresa, his father Ubaldo, sister Vittorina and brother Guido. He is survived by his partner, Carol Hall, son Michael, daughter Ann, two granddaughters, two great-grandsons, a niece and countless friends he entertained along the way.
His presence in our lives will always be enormously missed.
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