Emily Franciose memorial set for Sunday at Vail Mountain School

Anticipating large crowds, officials are urging guests to park in Vail Village parking garage

Emily Franciose, 18, was set to graduate from high school this spring. After spending her first 12 years of schooling at Vail Mountain School, she opted to do her senior year at Ecole d'Humanité, an international boarding school in Switzerland.
Franciose family/Courtesy photo

A memorial for Vail local Emily Franciose will take place Sunday, June 4, at 10:30 a.m. at Vail Mountain School in East Vail. Doors will open at 9:45 a.m.

School and town officials are anticipating a large crowd for the event, and are urging guests to park in the main Vail Village parking garage located on the South Frontage Road.

Town of Vail buses marked with “Emily” will leave from the upper level of the Vail Transportation Center every five minutes starting at 9:45 a.m. to ferry guests to the school. Buses will also circulate after the memorial to return guests to their cars.

Franciose, 18, was killed in a large avalanche in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps on March 21. An expert skier with extensive backcountry experience, she was skiing with classmates and staff from Ecole d’Humanité, the boarding school she’d chosen for her final year of high school. Franciose spent her first 12 years of schooling at Vail Mountain School.

Vail Mountain School honored Franciose at its commencement ceremony on Friday, May 27, at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail.

Support Local Journalism

Frankie Marston, who was awarded the Sally Johnston Distinguished Senior Award, paid tribute to Franciose in her address to the Class of 2023.

“Emily is not with us in person here today, but pieces of her legacy are ingrained in our accumulation of shared childhood memories,” Marston said. “From the first time we followed her fearless leadership in our kindergarten play, the ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’, to her continued support she demonstrated with her plans to surprise us all at ‘Footloose’ this year.”

“Hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, our class has depended on each other throughout the unfamiliarity of grief,” Marston added.

Emily Law, another classmate, said that the commencement ceremony was dedicated to Francoise.

“I ask all of you to keep living for her,” Law said. “Live your lives to the fullest every day to honor her beautiful memory and remember her laugh, enthusiasm, independence and grace.”

Franciose is the daughter of Reg and Sue Franciose. Reg Franciose is a trauma surgeon at Vail Health Hospital and is also the longtime medical director for Vail Ski Patrol. Sue Franciose is a cardiac perfusionist who has actively donated her time to local charity organizations over the years, including helping to organize holiday toy drives for the Salvation Army and fundraisers for Jack’s Place, the cancer caring house named after Dr. Jack Eck.

Support Local Journalism