Fletcher Fairchild Anderson died on Nov. 18 in an airplane accident in the Snake River Canyon. He was 57. Fletcher was born in New York City in May 1948 and lived in Colorado from 1950 to 2004, when he and his family moved from Telluride to Jackson Hole, Wyo. He was a multirated flight instructor, charter and corporate pilot and owner-operator of Mountain Aviation Services at Jackson Hole Airport. He also held a seat on the board of a multinational company. Many will remember Fletcher as a great bear of a man and an intrepid soul. A devoted, loving family man and supportive friend, he also was, at various times in his life, an Olympic-caliber downriver kayaker, nationally ranked Nordic and Alpine skier and extreme sport filmmaker. He still holds the record for the fastest time in a kayak down the Grand Canyon 49 hours. (Courtesy photo)
Stephen M. Butts
Stephen M. Butts, founder of Telluride Properties, died on January 18 in an avalanche in the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia. He was 49. Butts had been helicopter skiing with a group of friends from Telluride and Aspen. Also caught in the slide was Telluride resident Steven Cieciuch who survived but suffered a serious leg injury. Avalanche conditions at the time were rated as severe by the Canadian Avalanche Association.
Butts's death was caused by damage to his spinal cord and is believed to have been immediate.
"He died with his best friends, skiing his favorite run, while helicopter skiing, which is one of the greatest thrills in life," said Telluride mayor John Pryor who was a member of the ski group and witnessed the slide.
A memorial service was held outside on top of Coonskin Ridge and was attended by a large crowd of family, friends and colleagues. Telluride real estate broker Steve Hilbert, a former partner of Butts's and another of the friends who witnessed his death in the Canadian Rockies, summed up Butts's attitude towards life: "Let's do it, do it big and do it right. Let's live in the sun and die of skin cancer not depression. Let's live large and be present to our children. Let's go big and go home…. Welcome home, Steve."
Richard S. Luhman
Cortez attorney and former Telluride resident Richard S. Luhman, 62, was killed on March 4 at his law office by a gunman who shot him four times in the chest with a .32 caliber pistol. Luhman was a Telluride lawyer in the 1970s and 80s and was formerly married to Telluride resident Stevie Cramer. Luhman had a civil practice that involved mostly commercial and family work.
Fellow Cortez attorney Todd Starr said Luhman "was always willing to pick up the phone for a younger lawyer and offer some advice and counseling."
Robin Magee was synonymous with the Wilkinson Public Library where she worked for 18 years. Robin played a leading role in the construction of the current library building that opened in September 2000. Magee's passion for reading and learning encouraged and inspired her co-workers as well as the community to support the creation of the expanded facility and services that Telluride residents and visitors enjoy today. Robin was also an integral part of numerous other local organizations and served on various state library committees and boards. She was the vanguard for the preservation of open space in the Ophir Valley and led the successful charge to preserve Waterfalls Canyon and Swamp Canyon.
Robin is remembered for her passion and tenacity and, above all, her kindness. Shortly before her death in March, at 51, Robin had told friends that she felt complete in her life and was ready for the next thing, whatever that might be.
Meghan J. Brown
Meghan J. Brown, 28, was found dead at her Telluride home on April 3. Brown worked at Peak Performance Therapy and was a volunteer DJ for KOTO Radio. She was an avid outdoors person and loved snowboarding and hiking. To her family and many friends, Meghan left behind wonderful memories of an engaging sense of humor and a ready smile.
Alan E. Jacobsen
Owner of San Juan Surveying and a Telluride resident since 1990, Alan Jacobsen died at 63 on May 2. Jacobsen had been married to Telluride's Sandy Sucharski.
Jacobsen loved Telluride's mountains and all they had to offer. He was a keen sportsman with an effervescent spirit who loved life and who could always be counted on for his sense of humor.
Michael Young, 37, of Telluride and his brother David, 45, of Montrose, were killed on August 26 in a one-vehicle accident. The Jeep that the two brothers were traveling in went off a Forest Service road south of Lake City in the Rio Grande National Forest. There were no witnesses.
Michael was an architect and a member of the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department.
James Widener Ray
Described as a philanthropist, artist, and gentleman, as well as a madman skier, James Ray left his mark on Telluride primarily by his role as an advisory board member for the Telluride Jazz Celebration. He died on August 9 at the age of 52.
Ray created and exclusively funded the Raynier Institute and Foundation to support health care, animal protection, the arts and music, with a focus on children.
"He died doing one of his favorite things: riding his Ducati with his best friend," said Tyler Love's mother, Teri Love. "He had the gift of living life to its fullest. He believed in living each day like it was his last," she said, and called her son her "hero."
"Tyler had unconditional love for all those he cared for," said Teri.
Love died on November 12 at the age of 22.