Frank Doll, Eagle Co. native, 1921-2007
AVON, Colorado Frank Austin Doll, an Eagle County native, died Sunday at his home in Avon. He was 86.Mr. Doll, like his parent and grandparents, grew up ranching in the Gypsum area where the demanding work environment had him doing chores morning and night, before and after school, and working at a cow camp in the Flat Tops when he was just 12.During his life here, he saw the county transform itself from a quiet agricultural area to an industrial tourism mecca with a brace of world class resorts.He took pains to make sure that the local history was not swept aside, and he was the driving force in formation of the Eagle County Historical Society, a group he remained active with until the final months of his life. It wasnt just managerial direction. It often required hands-on work.In the late 80s he and Allan Nottingham and others even helped to move and reconstruct several historic buildings to the grounds of the countys historical museum in EagleHis life attracted the attention of local author Shirley Welch who chronicled Mr. Dolls life in a recent book.Many visitors knew the cowboy-hatted Mr. Doll as a teller of genuine stories at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Beaver Creek, and many locals as a selfless giver of time and support. Still others, like local newspaper editors, were often politely reminded of facts when there was inaccurate reporting. His meticulous filing could produce historical snippets of information that even Google couldnt rival.
After attending Eagle Valley High School, Mr. Doll attended the Colorado School of Mines and later transferred to Colorado A&M (now CSU), where he earned degrees in business and agriculture.Doll spent 25 years in the military, seeing active duty during World War II. He was an aerial artillery observer during action at the Faliase Gap after the Allied invasion at Normandy, when the Allies attempted to encircle the retreating Germans.Later in the war he helped liberate Dachau, the notorious Nazi death and prison camp north of Munich. Later he was given duty tours in Italy and Korea.He achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel when he left the Army to move back to Eagle County with his growing family to a tidy ranch-style home on the banks of the Eagle River in Avon.When he returned here, he worked for a number of companies including then Vail Associates and at the Eagle-Vail Golf Course and even worked for a local insurance agency. He also managed the now defunct family-dominated Meadow Mountain Ski area north of Minturn.But Mr. Doll gave freely of his time, skills and effort. He served as chairman of the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission in the 1980s and helped the town secure a separated grade crossing of the then active ground-level railroad tracks which crossed Avon road, the main access to Beaver Creek.Mr. Doll was also active in supporting the Eagle County Library District, the Shaw Cancer Center, Habitat for Humanity and supporting his friends with regular visits. He and a circle of close friends had an unbreakable routine of lunching at Ti Amo in Eagle Vail on Wednesdays and coffee at the Turntable Fridays, that you could set your clock by. He was a weather watcher for a National Weather Service, making and reporting daily temperature and precipitation readings from a small weather station in his yard in Avon.When he had spare time he liked to flyfish, ski, and golf and he was a voracious reader. His office downstairs in his home was packed with books and meticulously kept files.
He married Imogene Nottingham on April 19, 1948, and they had four daughters, three of whom Sharon Doll of Gypsum, Kathy Doll of Edwards and Tricia Medeiros of Laramie, Wyo. survive him. Imogene Doll died in 2001.Mr. Doll is survived by his brother Morton Doll of Gypsum; his daughters; grandsons Levi Medeiros of Laramie, Wyo. and Matthew Medeiros of Loveland, Colo.; one great grandson and a great granddaughter.Mr. Doll was born April 6, 1921, to Frank and Helen Herres Doll in Denver.A memorial service will be held Jan. 5 from noon until 4 p.m. at the 4 Eagle Ranch in Wolcott. Mr. Doll will be buried at the Eagle Cemetery not far from the Gypsum Valley he called home.