Snowmass remembers servant of community
Snowmass Village is mourning the loss of one of its most active community members after the death of Rick Griffin on Friday, Feb. 26, at the age of 71.
With a heart as big as his infectious sense of humor, Griffin will be remembered as one of Snowmass Village’s most engaged citizens. While never elected to public office — he ran for Town Council in 2004 — Griffin served on just about every volunteer board in Snowmass.
He cofounded the Snowmass Rotary Club. He served on numerous town boards, most recently the Financial Advisory Board, as well as the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District board. A former president of the Snowmass Homeowners Association, Griffin recently spearheaded an effort to get wildfire mitigation work completed in association neighborhoods. And for 30 years, he administered the Bill Heldman/Stark King Scholarship, a project of the Aspen Board of Realtors.
“That scholarship has helped dozens of local kids go to college in this valley,” said Greg Rulon, a broker in the Snowmass office of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, where Griffin was a broker for several years. Griffin earned his real estate license shortly after moving with his wife, Mary, to Colorado in 1981, where his brother Pat Griffin was already living. He worked for several local firms over the years, even owning his own at one point.
Griffin was highly active with the Aspen Board of Realtors, serving as president in 1985 and vice president of the District Board of Realtors in 1989, according to an obituary submitted to The Aspen Times by his family. For many years, he contributed a column with real-estate tips to the Snowmass Sun.
While helping with information for the obituary, Rulon said he had to keep calling Pat Griffin back because he would remember more things that Griffin was involved with. But Griffin was much more than a resume of activities.
“Everyone comments on his laugh and how they’re going to miss it,” Rulon said. “He’s going to be missed in this community.”
In writing his obituary, Pat and Mary recalled his love of golf, his engagement at St. Mary Catholic Church in Aspen, and the importance he placed on family.
“He was always ready to help anyone in need, yet never seemed to need any assistance himself,” said the obituary. “He was a rock for his family. One thing, though, Rick was never boring. He had an incredible sense of humor and a lust for life. He will be sorely missed.”
In the days following Griffin’s death, neighbors, friends and peers have reached out to Mary and to the Douglas Elliman office.
“He did so much for this community on a very personal level,” said broker Stacey Kelly. “Everyone in Snowmass and the Roaring Fork Valley will mourn his loss at the many annual events he began and continued to participate in to keep the momentum and concentration where it needed to be — for the good of all of us. The best way we can show our love and respect for Rick is for this community to do its part in continuing his efforts to make this wonderful place ‘home’ for all of us.”
Griffin was born on Aug. 11, 1944, in Ottumwa, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in journalism, after which he taught cinematography at the University of South Dakota for more than three years. He later started his own film production company in Omaha, where he met Mary. They were married for 33 years.
A funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. March 12 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Aspen. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Heldman/King scholarship by emailing Maria@AspenRealtors.com.
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