Vail Daily obituary: Jennifer Erin Pinkus, 1974-2016 |

Vail Daily obituary: Jennifer Erin Pinkus, 1974-2016

A memorial will be held for Jennifer Erin Pinkus at Donovan Pavilion on Thursday, June 23, at 6 p.m.

Jennifer “Jen” Pinkus was born on May 9, 1974, to loving and very excited parents, Ralph and Cheryl Pinkus. Born in Washington, D.C., Jen was an adventurous child, climbing play structures and light posts for her first six years before moving to Philadelphia in 1980 with her parents and younger sister, Lauren.

Jen grew up as part of the Westview Street gang, a close group of lively neighborhood children who met at the bottom of the beech tree each morning. In high school, Jen captained the tennis and lacrosse teams, graduating from Abington Friends School in 1992. She was on the crew team at the University of Vermont, but when the snow arrived she spent every weekend on the ski slopes, honing her love of dangerous trails at Tuckerman’s Ravine.

Jen spent a semester abroad in Aix in Provence, learning French and traveling throughout Europe. After graduating with a B.A. in sociology, she made the decision to live in Vail for a year. Twenty years later, Jenny had definitely found her niche.

Jen’s adventurous spirit took her around the world. Besides her semester in France, she spent time in Israel working in a factory packing helmets, biking through Croatia, teaching English to children in a small town in Kenya, working as an au pair to a family in Verbier, Switzerland, and traveling to China, Thailand and Morocco, New Zealand, having adventures that no parent wants to hear about until after their child makes it back safely. She once called from Morocco to ask permission to go to Morocco. She came home with beautiful photographs of her trip.

After moving to Vail, Jen became a ski instructor. She was certified to teach alpine, Nordic and snowboarding and acquired a devoted group of clients who came back year after year to ski with her.

Jen completed a master’s in teaching from University of Denver and began working for Eagle County Schools, teaching a variety of grades and subjects in several schools. Her creativity flourished through her teaching on and off the mountain.

Jen wrote openly about her struggle with lymphoma through her prose and poetry on her Caring Bridge page. Like everything she did, Jen fought with determination to win this unforgiving battle.

Jen loved her life in Vail. She loved skinning to the top of the mountain and skiing down. She loved the challenge of climbing an ice wall and biking in Moab, Utah. But what she loved the most were her special friends and family. We will miss her beautiful smile, her kind heart and thank her community for making her smile.

A ski down in her honor will be held Sunday on Vail Mountain. If you would like to join us, meet at the top of Chair 2 at 2 p.m.

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