Remembering Snowmass’ Mary Beth Blake |

Remembering Snowmass’ Mary Beth Blake

Britta Gustafson
Special to the Snowmass Sun

A celebration of her life will be held on Monday, July 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm at the Snowmass Chapel, followed by a private burial and public reception also at the Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Mary Beth’s name to HomeCare and Hospice of the Valley.

Straightforward and kind-hearted, Mary Beth Blake was always ready to give of herself, and Snowmass Village was blessed to have had her as one of the early and long-time members of the community.

From her birth July 21, 1942, to her passing among family members in her home on June 30, Mary Beth nourished the people around her with compassion and self-sacrifice. She was 74.

Born in Chicago to James and Dorathe Cooke, Mary Beth was one of six children, and the large family setting enhanced her innate nurturing spirit.

As a schoolgirl, she met her best friend and the love of her life, Tom Blake. The high school sweethearts grew up within 8 miles of each other and after Mary Beth earned her nursing degree from Saint Mary’s College of Indiana and began her nursing career in Chicago, they were married in 1965.

Together, they moved to Snowmass in 1969 after having skied often in Colorado, including attending the grand opening at Snowmass in 1967. They brought to Snowmass Tom’s gregarious nature and Mary Beth’s public-minded spirit, which helped to shape the town as it is today.

With Mary Beth at his side, Tom became general manager of the Snowmass Resort Association at its inception, which he ran for eight years, and their combined efforts helped kick start the resort business into high gear.

Always with Mary Beth’s support, Tom went on to serve as Pitkin Board of County Commissioner (1980-88) and Snowmass Town Council Member (1990-94). After Tom passed away in 1994, Mary Beth kept alive their community spirit, helping to carve out the popular Snowmass hiking and biking trail bearing Tom’s name in recognition of his advocacy for trail systems.

Among Mary Beth’s many legacies were her efforts as a member of the Arts Advisory Board, helping to enhance the town with public works, including a commemorative sculpture installed in Tom Blake’s honor in 2007 on the Public Art Walk near the Snowmass Chapel in Yarrow Park.

Perhaps of all of Mary Beth’s gifts to this world, motherhood was her most significant. Their oldest son, Chris, came into their lives in 1973, followed by their younger son, Brendan, in 1978. They were the light of her life, and she always beamed when she spoke about her sons.

Mary Beth will be remembered for her generosity of heart and mind, and her hands-on contributions to her family and friends, adding that which cannot be bought or measured. Her sincerity and outlook stayed intact through her final days, asking always what she could be doing for others, for her community or for family and friends.

Left to honor Mary Beth and remember her love are her son Brendan Blake, and his wife, Amy Campfield Blake, and their children Bailey and Emily Blake; her sister, Kathy Zingaro, and brothers Jim, Michael and Jerry Cooke. Mary Beth was preceded in death by her son Chris, her husband Tom, her parents, and brother David.

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