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Vail Valley Voices: Missing Lorraine Haslee already

Ben Talbot
Vail, CO, Colorado

This week the brightest of lights in a house on a quiet street in Minturn went out.

Lorraine Haslee has left us and moved on to the next great adventure. I don’t think I need to remind the valley of what a wonderful person Lorraine was, nor am I the poet she deserves.

In fact, there may be no writer on this earth who could do her justice, and that’s just fine with me. But despite my artistic shortcomings, let me say:



Lorraine was known by a number of different monikers: mom, wife, teacher, volunteer, librarian and friend. She lived up to all these titles and in many ways defined them.

Most importantly, she helped create and strengthen the fabric of every community she touched. Lorraine was a true altruist. She always offered herself completely and totally to anyone and everyone around her without any expectation of gratitude or admiration.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



We should all be so lucky to have someone like her in our lives.

To say the world is a little less bright without her would be an understatement, but I know she wouldn’t want me to think that. Lorraine Haslee would want everyone she touched to pass the light she gave us on to others, to make our community a better place, to bring kindness and hope to those around us.

None of the Haslees live in Minturn anymore. Selfishly, I wish Lorraine, Fred, Laura and Maggie still called that town their home only so that I could visit them whenever I wanted or needed as I did for so many years.



However, I can take solace in the fact that Lorraine gave our world two wonderful daughters who were made all the better by having such extraordinary parents.

For those of us who aren’t blessed with surname Haslee, we are so very fortunate to have known such an astounding woman.

As I said, no words of mine can assuage the grief our community feels with such a privation and a hardship. Nor can I fully and truly detail the legacy Lorraine has left behind.

One thing I do know is that the holidays are a time of friends and family, cheer and joy, accord and harmony. With such a loss, these feelings may be muted by melancholy and sadness. But Lorraine wouldn’t have wanted us to feel this way, now or ever.

Instead, we should do exactly what she would have done: Offer ourselves to others in whatever way we can. In addition to strengthening the framework of our community we may find that benevolently helping others, as she always did, will bring the very light Lorraine brought us: happiness.

Ben Talbot is a Minturn resident.


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