Fred ‘Bullit’ Diette, 1934-2010, former Vail ski patrolman
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –The Eagle and Vail valleys lost a lot of character last Monday with the loss of a Valley favorite, Fred “Bullit” Diette, due to a stroke.
He left this world surrounded by a room full of equally big characters telling old-day Vail Ski Patrol tales. Bullit, so nicknamed because of his famous speed down the hill while being probably one of the smallest men in the patrol, was well remembered with great rounds of laughter while reminiscing about various colorful events – things that could have only happened in a by-gone time when rules of the mountain were few.
Although he was in the process of leaving this world for the next one, everyone in the room had the sense that he was enjoying the stories as well. Undoubtedly he could not have asked for any sweeter music to his ears than the chuckles of his old buddies, fondly “roasting” him, as he made that last journey.
Bullit was born May 4, 1934, in Lowell, Vt., and after a successful skiing career heading the ski school at Okemo, Vt., and patrolling at the Camel Back Ski Area in Pennsylvania, he ventured to Colorado to join the young skiing community of Vail. While he deeply loved this valley, he remained a staunch and real Vermonter through every part of him.
Colorful language is a recognized part of the Vermont dialogue, and he had it down to an art form. In any conversation with him you might as well be prepared for a blast of it and a good belly laugh as well.
A good friend to many in the area, his closest friends were his hunting friends, those he worked with in construction, and his ski patrol and ski school comrades. His stories almost always included all of them as well as his fierce pride in being raised on a Vermont farm, developing a great love for tractors and draft horses that began as a young boy handling a team in the field.
And loyal to the end, Bullit’s wishes were that his ashes be returned to the Lowell, Vt., cemetery where many others of his family rest.
It was his wish that his funeral service be held there, but be assured, there will be one heck of a celebration for him in Eagle as weather becomes more fitting for large outdoor gatherings. The public will be well notified when that date is determined.
Fred “Bullit” Diette is survived by sisters Connie Daigle, of Newport, Vt., Claudette (Conrad) Hall, of Zephyrhills, Fla. and Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Paulette (Vincent) Vitale of Moore, Okla.; brother, Maurice Diette (Sandra) of Colchester, Vt.; daughter Patricia Miles; and a precious new granddaughter, Madyson Taylor, of Connecticut.
He also had many beloved nieces and nephews.
Condolences can be sent to Rosie Shearwood, P.O. Box 114, Eagle, CO, 81631 to be forwarded to his family. Also, because of his love of children, donations may be made in his name to the Masonic/Greater Eagle Fire Toy Drive at P.O. Box 783, Eagle, CO, 81631.