Randy Schachtili, former Vail Valley resident, 1926-2011 | VailDaily.com

Randy Schachtili, former Vail Valley resident, 1926-2011

Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Randy Schachtili

Randy passed away Father’s Day, June 19, doing what he loved, spending time with Jane, his wife of more than 63 years. At 84, he lived a long and interesting life and touched the lives of all who knew and loved him.

Born in Asheville, N.C., on November 7, 1926, and raised in Sacramento, Calif., he graduated from McClatchy High School then enlisted in the Army Air Corps to train as a fighter pilot just as World War II ended. He attended the University of California at Davis for a short time, but was drawn by a love of the outdoors to Lake Tahoe with his wife and young daughter, Jenni, in 1955. He taught himself to ski as a teenager in the Sierras and parlayed that love into a long, enduring career in the ski industry as the first ski school director at Heavenly Valley in Lake Tahoe in the 1950’s; then operating a small ski area, The Edelweiss, which produced several Olympic ski racers and hopefuls during the early 190’s; and later coming to Vail in the early 1970s, where he taught skiing for several years. He has been a member of a national ski instructors association for nearly 60 years.

Winter sport was not his only passion. He mastered tennis in his 40s. Fly fishing and backpacking consumed every summer for decades. He was “The Vail Backpacker,” and family, friends and clients learned the skills of living in the outdoors and gained special appreciation of the Colorado Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas. At the age of 55, he and Jane moved out of the Colorado snow to the Scottsdale sunshine, where they have lived for nearly 30 years. It was at that time that he developed a love of running and up until he was 75, he ran more than 19 marathons, including three in Boston.

Sports took their toll and his greatest disappointments of his long life were the decisions to hang up his skis, pack away his rods, put away his Nikes, and settle for games of skill like pinochle and Sudoku. An avid reader, he always had a book at his side, and he never lost his love of a good read.

His family gave him his greatest joys. He is survived by his wife, Jane; his daughter Jenni Marquez (Walt) of Eagle; his grandchildren, born and raised in Vail, Jeff Marquez (Debbie), of Boise; and Molly Marquez, of Durango. Randy was excitedly waiting to meet his first great-grandson this fall.

He had an entrepreneurial spirit and his business careers ran from retail to insurance, recreation, real estate sales and property management. In retirement, when asked what he did, he replied with a smile, “Whatever I want,” a comment on how he lived. He will be missed.

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