Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Jennifer Buttery formed lasting friendships with just about everyone she met.
That includes her real estate agent, Darlinda Maxwell Bald-inger, who sold a Mountain Vista townhome to Jennifer and Aaron Buttery when the couple moved to Steamboat Springs from Tennessee last summer.
Baldinger said she quickly bonded with Jennifer Buttery while they were looking at properties together "for days on end." That bond soon became a strong friendship, Baldinger said, as Jennifer Buttery continued to surprise her.
"I was supposed to buy them a closing gift," Baldinger said, explaining a courtesy that comes with selling a home to a client. "But my phone rang one day at the office, and Jennifer and Isaac were out front with big smiles on their faces holding a bouquet of flowers.
"She beat you to the punch on thoughtfulness."
Jennifer Buttery, 27, died Sunday evening from injuries sustained in a car crash north of Silverthorne on Colorado Highway 9.
The accident occurred in snowy conditions Sunday, when Aaron Buttery, 26, lost control of their Jeep Grand Cherokee and the vehicle slid into oncoming traffic. They collided with a Dodge Ram driven by 41-year-old Laura Spero of Bailey.
The Butterys' 1-year-old son, Isaac, was in the car during the accident. Isaac suffered bruises but is doing fine, according to the family. Aaron had surgery Tuesday to treat a broken right leg, heel and ankle. He is recovering at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver.
Laura Spero and her husband, Michael Spero, suffered moderate injuries in the accident, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
The loss of Jennifer Buttery, a Dallas native, has been deeply felt in Steamboat.
"If anybody spent five minutes with her, they would become her friend," Baldinger said. "She had a rare quality that you don't find in many people, and a smile that could stop you in your tracks."
Father David Henderson of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Steamboat, where Aaron Buttery serves as youth minister, said Jennifer met Aaron Buttery about six years ago while the two were on a mission trip in Mexico. The two married, and Jennifer Buttery graduated from law school at the University of Tennessee last spring, shortly after giving birth to Isaac.
Jennifer Buttery took the Colorado state bar exam three weeks ago. Results are not yet in.
"We were all sort of giving her some space (in recent months) to finish studying for her bar," Emily Henderson, wife of David Henderson, said this week. "She was looking so forward to having taken it and kind of coming back to the world."
Emily Henderson said members of the St. Paul's congregation had an impromptu prayer service Monday night in remembrance of Jennifer Buttery.
"Everybody just sort of wanted to be together for a little while," she said. "(Jennifer) was just a really amazing lady."
Along with her job doing title work for local real estate attorney John Melvin, Jennifer Buttery was very involved in St. Paul's and, above all, her family.
"She was an incredibly devoted mother and an incredibly devoted wife," David Henderson said.
Jennifer Buttery had two sisters, Kristin and Michele, and one brother, Clayton. Her parents are Dr. Tom Vaughan and Debbie Vaughan of Colleyville, Texas, near Dallas.
David Henderson said Wednesday that Aaron is "making progress" in his recovery. "It has been very important for Aaron to have Isaac and to be able to hold him."