Earl Eaton, a Vail founder, 1922-2008
May 27, 2008
Earl Vanreed Eaton, a Colorado native, passed away at his home in Eagle on Sunday after a long illness. He died surrounded by his family. He was a beloved father and grandfather.
Earl was born on Dec. 10, 1922, to Carl and Erma on land up Squaw Creek in Eagle County. He served his country in the Army in World War II.
After the war he worked in the mines of Leadville and Cocomo. He gravitated to Aspen to enjoy his love of skiing. He was instrumental to the development of the sport in Colorado at several ski mountains, most especially Vail Mountain, where he was the founder.
Earl enjoyed all aspects of the outdoors and was open to all manner of adventure. He rafted the distance from Aspen to Lake Mead before the advent of the Glen Canyon Dam. He was a man that knew and understood mountains. He prospected for uranium in the glory days of uranium prospecting.
In his later years he enjoyed prospecting for gold in the mountains around Eagle. He was a fisherman and a hunter.
An innovator, he held patents on a type of ski bike long before that sport caught the world’s attention. He was working on a new prototype of ski bike in the years before his death. He skied up to his 84th year.
Earl is survived by his ex-wife, Penelope; his children, Sherry, Micah, Carl and Carrie-Bronwyn; his grandchildren, Pamela and Christopher; and his sister, Nettie.
Memorial services have not yet been arranged.