Vail Daily column: Brad Laskin, 1973-2015
Bradley Harris Laskin — passionate skier, devoted father and husband, and friend to many — passed away Sept. 30 from post-surgery complications. Born March 16, 1973, in Denver, he and his twin brother, Kent, grew up with their mom, Susan Laskin, in their house in Aurora. The boys attended Polten Elementary School, followed by Prairie Middle School. Brad soon moved to Vail to live with his father, Norman Laskin, a move that set the foundation for the rest of his life. After joining Ski Club Vail, Brad cemented his reputation as one of the best skiers around. It was a reputation he’d keep all his life.
Brad graduated from Battle Mountain High School in 1992, attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, then moved back to Vail to ski powder and work at Norman’s Vail Village staple, John Galt. Brad’s first priority was always skiing (and maybe with his malamute, Nicki). Nobody was more stoked on catching air and skiing fast than Brad. Whether it was spinning 720s on 223-centimeter DH boards or blasting off cliffs on (or off) Vail Mountain, Brad was not afraid to send it.
Brad’s priorities began to shift upon meeting Kellie D’Elia in 1996. Once he skied with Kellie, Brad’s pursuit of her began in earnest. Of course, the feeling was mutual; seeing Brad ski made Kellie think she had a keeper, if she could somehow keep up.
Brad began his career in construction, which led the couple to Lake Tahoe in 2001. Kellie and Brad got engaged on Sept. 21, 2001, and married on Oct. 5, 2002, in the Berkshires. On July 8, 2006, Bradford Heath Laskin arrived, an event which moved the legendary tough guy to tears. “That’s bulls—! I never cry,” cried Brad.
Brad and his family moved back home for the 2011-12 season, eventually setting up shop in Eagle. Brad worked hard as a master trim carpenter and a talented custom furniture maker. Embracing fatherhood, Brad taught his boy to rip, to seek out air and to be as pumped about skiing as Brad.
As news of Brad’s death began to spread, the devastating reality of his untimely passing began to set in. Even while mourning, Kellie’s strength helped everyone cope.
“He drifted off to that big ski area in the sky, with no lift lines or snowboarders!” said Kellie.
Brad is survived by Bradford, Kellie, Kent, Susan, Norman and a legion of friends who loved him.
There will be an FAC in Brad’s honor on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Ford Amphitheater. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Laskin Family Support Giveforward page to help support Bradford and Kellie through this difficult time.