Jan and Ned: A Snowmass Love Story | AspenTimes.com

Jan and Ned: A Snowmass Love Story

Britta Gustafson
Special to the Snowmass Sun

Jan and Ned Cochran met and fell in love here on the slopes in the winter of 1967-68.

They skied together and then sailed together, traveled and played together, built their home and lives together.

Now, as Ned cares for Jan, afflicted by the challenges of advanced Parkinson’s disease, they are coping with those challenges together.

Ned tenderly navigates Jan through her world now. She remains a sharp woman of wit, trapped in a body that can’t speak and barely moves. Still, she remains positive and resentment just isn’t her approach.

Ned acknowledges that this is what life is for them now, but he remains devoted and his love is so deep that caring for her comes naturally.

Throughout their years as active members of the Snowmass Village community, she touched lives as a dedicated teacher, and he made friends at every turn, helping as one of the early town surveyors and, among many other meaningful contributions to the community, as a popular radio personality for KJAX.

Neighbors and friends have described the couple as “a solid team, one soul in two bodies.”

Despite the one-way street this disease presents for most, what “truly knocks you over,” their neighbor, Nancy Gensch explained, “is that they will be a team forever; he just wants to be with her, that’s his bliss.”

“It takes a special heart; not every heart could do what Ned does.”

When in their presence, it becomes clear that they are each other’s reason to smile. Proving that it is not what you do together, but with love it is about being with the person you care for most. And showing the rest of us that perhaps soulmates and love stories exist.

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