Fossett memorial service is March 20
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” World-renowned adventurer and part-time resident of Beaver Creek, Steve Fossett will be remembered at a memorial service on March 20. The celebration of life will take place at 1 p.m. at the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts.
Fossett was active in the Vail Valley community for more than 20 years. Forever humble, his expansive generosity was directed toward children right here in Eagle County. A founding board member of the Youth Foundation, Steve helped to inspire a vision that continues today.
If you don’t recognize his name for the work he did to help develop and grow the Eagle Valley, you certainly will for his constant adventure and untamable spirit. Steve Fossett was a world record setting adventurer.
At 63, Mr. Fossett was perhaps best known for becoming the first person to fly around the world alone in a balloon, a challenge completed in 2002 after five failed attempts, including one that ended in a crash landing in a remote village in India, and one in which he plummeted some 29,000 feet into the Coral Sea after his balloon was shredded in severe weather.
In 2005 he set another world record as the first pilot to complete a solo unrefueled circumnavigation of the world ” a trip that took 67 hours and became a nail-biting affair after a leak drained much of his spare oxygen and fuel.
Mr. Fossett also set a record gliding more than 50,000 feet above the Andes Mountains, participated in the Iditarod dog sled race, swam the English Channel and skippered the vessel that set the world sailing record for fastest circumnavigation of the globe. He once swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, at night with no audience, just to see if he could.
Once, when asked by a reporter why he attempted such risky endeavors, Mr. Fossett replied, “I have a very low threshold for boredom.”
All told, Mr. Fossett set 117 official world records in boats, airplanes, balloons, gliders and airships. Mr. Fossett served as a trustee of Washington University and president of the National Eagle Scout Association. In July he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
Dial-a-Ride shuttles for the memorial service will be provided by Beaver Creek Resort Company from the Beaver Creek Elk lot beginning at noon. A reception will immediately follow the service. The memorial service and reception are being hosted by the Youth Foundation. For more information contact (970)763-7000.
Chicago Tribune correspondent Kristen Scharnberg contributed to this report.