Former Steamboat Springs resident Michelle "Shelly" Muffs Burt passed away Oct. 25, 2005, from lung and brain cancer. She was 54.
She was born Nov. 11, 1950, to Stanley and Elaine Muffs in Philadelphia. She had two older sisters, Linda and Susan. She grew up in Philadelphia, graduating from the Philadelphia College of Art with a degree in industrial design in 1976.
She worked for her father at this time as a typesetter and printer.
She moved to Colorado in 1978 because she always felt a pull to the West and the mountains. She settled in Steamboat Springs and worked as a children's ski instructor for the ski resort. Like most resort dwellers, she also worked as a painter, cobbler, seamstress, quilt maker and artist. She grew 10-foot hollyhocks in the high country's short growing season.
She married David Burt on March 12, 1983, and had a daughter, Samantha, on May 28, 1984.
She and David moved to Palisade in 1992. She began to paint and sculpt more, as well as make and install insulated window treatments. She made custom quilts, caning chairs and stained glass.
She worked as a picture framer for years, finally starting her own business, Pastel Briefcase, a few years ago. She sold her cases worldwide with endorsements from national artists. She was an amazing artist and won many awards for her pastel and acrylic works.
She created amazing mobiles, cut, pressed and fired her own tile and sculpture. She saw the small and made it large in her work.
A memorial for the bright light of her life was held Nov. 19, 2005, at her home in Palisade.