Margaret R. Stirling (1915-2005)

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Aspen resident Margaret R. Stirling passed away peacefully on Dec. 23, 2005, at her daughter's ranch near Hayden. She was 90.

She was born Margaret Ruth Lafayette on March 15, 1915, in Detroit. Marge was the fifth of eight children born to Bessie and John D. Lafayette. She was raised in Detroit, and throughout her youth, Marge could usually be found sailing, dancing or spending time with her many friends.

In 1942, Marge fell in love and married Alexander James Stirling, a U.S. Army Air Corps pilot. Marge and Jim raised their two daughters and son in Metamora, Mich. Their love of skiing and the mountains inspired many cross-country road trips to Aspen, beginning in the 1940s.

In 1967, they purchased a town home in the new resort of Snowmass, where they shared their love of skiing with their children and grandchildren.

In 1970, they moved to a cattle ranch in Northwest Colorado, splitting their time between the ranch and Snowmass Village. Marge moved to Snowmass full time in 1979. She lived in Snowmass Village until 1998, when she moved to Castle Creek Terrace Assisted Living in Aspen.

Marge was always full of energy and enjoyed a wide array of activities. Her passions included skiing, golfing, painting, playing bridge, skeet shooting, duck hunting, traveling and most of all, spending time with her family.

Marge was involved in diverse community and social organizations throughout her life. She was a founding member of the Snowmass Chapel and was also active in the early days of Anderson Ranch. The Aspen Art Museum, Aspen Winterskol and World Cup races were but a few of the organizations and events for which Marge volunteered. She was known by her many friends for her enthusiasm for life and her laughter, and she will be greatly missed.

She was preceded in death by her son, James Neil Stirling.

She is survived by her daughters, Barbara Stirling and Heather Stirling; her grandsons, Zander Higbie, George (Jake) Higbie, Shamus Spitzley, Nathaniel Spitzley and Dustin Spitzley; her six great-grandchildren; her brother, John Lafayette; her dear friend, Mimi Schlumberger; her nieces and nephews; and friends.

Her family requests that memorial contributions be made to Friendship Bridge, a nonprofit serving impoverished women in Guatemala, at 3560 Highway 74, Suite B2, Evergreen, CO 80439.

A memorial celebration of Marge's life will take place at 2 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Snowmass Chapel. A reception will follow at Mimi Schlumberger's home at River Valley Ranch in Carbondale.

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