Obituary: María Mercedes Lewis Minick |

Obituary: María Mercedes Lewis Minick

María Mercedes Lewis Minick
María Mercedes Lewis Minick
Provided Photo

June 23, 1945 – February 10, 2023

María Mercedes Noboa Lewis grew up in Golden, Colorado. She graduated from college an accomplished student and came to Vail in 1968 as a newlywed during the town’s early days. She had a job lined up to establish the first Red Cross swimming lesson program in the valley at the Lodge at Vail. María continued teaching lessons every summer for more than 30 years. With patience, skill, and a sense of fun, she taught generations of Vail Valley families from infants to adults how to swim. She also worked at Gorsuch as the manager of the clothing department where she made many life-long friends. After moving from Vail to Lake Creek in 1977, she began to cultivate a wonderful garden that would grow fresh vegetables for over 40 years. There she raised two kids, cared for five cats and three dogs as friends and loyal companions, and worked hard on the beloved property. In Lake Creek she connected with a wonderful community, with dear friends still in touch to this day.

During her years in Lake Creek, María became a dedicated teaching professional. She pursued a career that ranged far beyond the classroom walls and into the homes and communities of her students and their families as she worked tirelessly to advance their educations. She started what was then called the ESL program in the Eagle County Schools and poured her time, talents, and energy into helping her students.

In both her professional life and her personal life, María was a dynamo – a person who could work more than full time, be a joyful and determined mom, chop wood, crowbar ice off the roof, and sew a Halloween costume from scratch while helping to edit homework, all in one day. She could do all of that while still noticing and teaching us about all of the little details in nature that she loved: the hummingbirds, deer, aspen, tulips, and every plant on our property in Lake Creek. She was funny, loving, warm, smart, perceptive, and generous to a fault with her time and her talents. When faced with challenges, María was strong and resilient. She taught us the important things about how to live a good life, how to be active contributors in our communities and our world, and how to speak up and stand up for what’s right. She was a person who was grateful for small blessings, and was able, even in the midst of a busy life, to savor each moment.

María will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and generations of students.

We will be honoring her life with a celebration in the mountains she loved, with details to come. If you would like to attend, please contact our family at If you have pictures of María you’d like to share, we would love to have them..

Thank you to our family and friends for your love and support.
Sarah and Keith Minick

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