David Earl Edeen, 1949 – 2002
He was a man you couldn’t help but love, say his friends and family.
David Earl Edeen died Monday afternoon of a massive heart attack while
working in the yard of the Black Bear Inn, which he ran as a bed and
breakfast with his wife, Jessie. He was 53.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 26 at the Vail
Interfaith Chapel, with Rev. Brooks Keith officiating. A reception will
follow at the Black Bear Inn.
Though he worked every day of the week, David always found the time to help when he was needed, says Jessie. Fun for David revolved around activities in which his sons were involved.
“He was so very proud of his sons,” she says.
Jessie remembers David telling friends about their unique first date –
shoe-skiing in June on Ptarmigan Pass. The couple met in 1971 after David had moved to Vail and had rented an apartment from Jessie’s parents,
Lorraine and Richard Elliott. They were married two years later in the Vail
Born April 18, 1949, in San Mateo, Calif., David tackled landscaping work
for Fred Schwartz when he first arrived in Vail. After receiving a
psychology degree from the Colorado State University, David returned to Vail and jumped into what would become an 18-year career in food services for Vail Associates.
“David’s personality and character embodies all the good things about life,” says Paul Golden, who along with John Lorenzen and Edeen ran the
entire food service program for VA during those early years. “David handled all the management in all the restaurants on the mountain at that time. I couldn’t have had a greater guy in that role. He was the front man with a good sense of humor. He was a giver, not a taker.”
Eric Pottorff, who met Edeen when he first moved to Vail in 1981 and worked at Mid-Vail with him for four years, says David always treated his staff with respect.
“He had integrity and was truly a man of his word. Of all the people I have worked with and have known in my years in the Vail Valley, David Edeen was the most positive and friendly.”
Pottorff remembers Mid-Vail as a fun place to work helping with the ice bars that David and his staff created as part of the “Mid-Vail Beach,” complete with a lifeguard tower and flamingos.
“David was a mentor for a lot of us,” Pottorff says.
One of Edeen’s former colleagues, John Lorenzen, is making the journey from California to Vail to say a final farewell to the good friend he worked with in food services for 18 years.
“David was a good-hearted person, with a great sense of humor, who was taken much too young. He will be missed,” Lorenzen says.
David’s vision and work ethic transformed logs into the Black Bear Inn. His
years with food service meant outstanding breakfast fare for those who stayed at the inn.
David’s son, Richie, will remember his father as someone who seemed to laugh with his eyes. Richie talks of his dad building the Black Bear Inn and the family’s home himself.
“He did everything for his family,” he says.
Probably no greater tribute can be made to a person than from their
“My husband and I often remarked about what a wonderful son-in-law,
father and husband he was,” says Lorraine Elliott. “He loved everyone and
welcomed them all into his life. No one ever felt unwelcome around David.
It’s a terrible loss to the family.”
A close friend, Joe Peplinski, describes David as one of those rare people who wasn’t afraid to say, “I don’t know.”
“He was devoted to his wife and best friend, Jessie,” Peplinski said. “His
two boys, Willie and Richie, were truly his pride and joy. David would replay with obvious joy for close friends, the disagreements they might have had with him, or problems the boys had created for him simply because they were being boys.”
At the time of his death, David was happily shifting down into a slower-paced lifestyle. He and Jessie were planning to pick up a new car this week and drive to the East Coast to visit their son, Willie.
“He took a year to select that car, and he was so excited about it and this trip,” Jessie says.
In addition to his wife, Jessie, and sons, Willie of Frederick, Md. and
Richie, a junior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, David Edeen is survived by his mother, Gladys Edeen of Denver, his twin sister, Karen Edeen of Denver, a brother and sister-in-law, Erik and Judy Edeen of Edwards, nieces Kristin MacDonnell of San Francisco, Jaime Edeen and Erika Edeen of Edwards, and nephews Luke Gray of Eagle, Jon Edeen and Jason Edeen of Edwards and a grandniece, Devann Edeen also of Edwards.
In lieu of flowers, donations in David Edeen’s memory may be made to the
Battle Mountain High School Booster Club, P.O. Box 249, Minturn, CO,
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