Shirley Bower ‘rarely missed a powder day’
Shirley Bower, a popular 30-year Vail Associates employee, died unexpectedly in her sleep Saturday. She was 54. Shirley grew up in Richmond, Va., and moved to the Vail area in 1973. In 1976, she began a 30-year career of winters on the mountain, which included snow-making and lift operations.
She spent her summers at the Beaver Creek Golf Course, maintaining irrigation systems and, more recently, creating detailed floral landscaping in her capacity as a master gardener. She was even affectionately known to some as the “flower lady.”Her years with her partner, Paul Bennicoff were the happiest of her life, and together the two of had many adventures, family members and friends said. She adored jet-skiing at Lake Powell, snowmobiling with the Powder Hounds Snowmobile Club, gardening, and above all, skiing, family members and friends said.
She rarely missed a powder day and even requested a long-distance workpost because it allowed her more time to ski, they said. She is survived by Paul Bennicoff, her partner for 13 years; mother Evelyn Redmond of Richmond; son Sean Bower and his wife, Tara, of Winchester, Ky.; daughter Erin Spruiell and her husband, Geoff, of Pueblo; five grandchildren: Robert, Dominique, Isaiah, Kaylee, and Bergon; and her two golden retrievers, Tasha and Ginger. A celebration of Bower’s life will be held Friday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Eagle’s Nest, located at the top of the gondola in Vail Mountain. The gondola is free to ride beginning at 2 p.m.
Weather permitting, the celebration will occur outside on Talon’s Deck. Also, a Shirley Bower Memorial Fund has been established at the Avon branch of West Star Bank. Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado