Marni Jump brought joy to her Vail friends |

Marni Jump brought joy to her Vail friends

Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado – Whenever the Vail Valley’s veterans started talking about Marni Jump, one word came unbidden to just about everyone: “lady.” Monday, several locals were mourning Jump, who died at an assisted living facility in Denver. She was 92.

Mike Mathias of Vail had known Jump for many years, and the two had become close friends.

“She was a lady, first foremost and forever,” Mathias said. “That’s what came up whenever we’d talk about her.”

Jump, who served in the Navy, mostly in Hawaii, during World War II, was part of that service’s signal corps. That job required her to carry some of the war’s most important documents to and from some of its best-known leaders. Jump never knew whose those messages were meant for, or what they discussed, and never talked much about her wartime job.

“She never thought about looking,” Mathias said.

After the war, Jump met and married her husband, Larry, who had already started the Arapaho Basin Ski Area.

“She helped build the ski industry as we know it,” said Father Brooks Keith of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Vail, who was her minister for many years.

“They were a partner deal, in business and in raising a family,” Keith said. That involvement in the business earned Jump a spot in the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, next to her husband.

While the Jumps had owned a condo in Vail since the early 1970s, Marni didn’t move to the valley full time until Larry’s death in the 1980s. She immediately started making her presence felt in the community.

She was active in the local veterans group, and would always participate in anything to do with the 10th Mountain Division, of which Larry had been a member.

“She had a strong dedication to the 10th after marrying Larry,” longtime friend Earl Clark said from his Denver-area home. “She’d participate in every 10th Mountain Division event she could.”

Mathias remembered that Jump would lay a wreath at the 10th Mountain Division monument at Ski Cooper in Larry’s memory every Memorial Day, then link up with other division veterans.

Keith said Jump was a big part of the local Episcopal congregation and the Vail Interfaith Chapel.

“She helped us through some challenging days,” Kieth said.

Jump was also part of the congregation’s committee that hosted weddings.

“Couples would often stop a rehearsal to talk to her, and talk about skiing at A-Basin,” Keith said.

Jump was friends with astronaut Scott Carpenter, President Gerald Ford, and was an early, active supporter of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

Working with local veterans, Jump would often go out to local schools, and helped the drive to make the Freedom Park memorial a reality.

Edwards resident Buddy Sims is active in local veterans activities, and remembered that Jump always enjoyed going out to the schools.

“She’d shake the kids hands, and really enjoyed meeting them,” Sims said.

While Jump’s mobility was limited in her later years, she was a skier through and through, Keith said.

“She got her second hip replacement when she was 80 so she could continue skiing,” he said. “Her passing is a great loss for all of us.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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