unknown - August 30, 2009
Routt County lost a dynamic friend of historic preservation and the arts when Martha Ann "Marty" Alexandroff died Aug. 30, 2009, at the Swedish Medical Center in Englewood after battling the rare vascular disease Wegener's Granulomatosis for several months. Her beloved family was at her side.
Born in 1942 in Wauwatosa, Wis., Marty moved to Colorado in the early 1980s. She graduated from Metropolitan State College in 1990 with a degree in technical communications, and received a Master of Arts degree in historic preservation from Regis University in 1994.
Marty made Routt County her home for nearly a decade during the 1990s. While here, Marty worked for the city of Steamboat Springs as secretary for City Manager Harvey Rose, and as city clerk for several years. She was the director of the Tread of Pioneers Museum during the big move and rehabilitation of the Utterback House into the Museum's Utterback Annex. Marty returned to Denver nearly 10 years ago to work as a historian for CH2MHill and later as an executive assistant at Comcast until she retired in 2007.
A tireless volunteer while she lived here, Marty was president of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, on the board of Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, and coordinator of Environment 2000. She was instrumental in the formation of the Routt County Historic Register in 1992 and was a cofounder of the nonprofit organization Historic Routt County. An active trails advocate, Marty served on the Steamboat Springs Trails Committee and organized the dedication of the Yampa River Core Trail. Legendary for her hospitality, whenever a big volunteer project was completed, Marty would gather all the players to celebrate their accomplishments, events that were always memorable.
As a preservation specialist, Marty authored many important research documents for rural communities throughout her career, including the 1994 Historic Context of Routt County and the 1996 Historic Property Survey of Downtown Steamboat Springs. She prepared the successful nominations of the Carpenter Ranch, Perry-Mansfield and the Columbine Gold Camp to the National Register of Historic Places and many nominations to the Routt County Historic Register, including the recently preserved Diamond Window Cabin.
After Marty moved to Denver, she continued her work in historic preservation as an advisor/consultant, but she shifted her focus and considerable talents to painting. Her watercolors of Western and Alaska landscapes soon won numerous awards. In 2005, Marty's first series of paintings of Routt County's historic buildings were displayed in exhibits throughout the county. Marty intended that the images be used for note cards to sell to benefit Historic Routt County.
Marty will be remembered for the boundless energy and enthusiasm with which she approached every aspect of her life. She loved to organize hiking trips with friends and family, and to cook fabulous meals at the drop of a hat. She did so with a selfless grace that ensured the comfort and enjoyment of her guests. In recent summers, Marty took great delight taking trips with her grandchildren to show them Alaska and to spend time with their Uncle John. While her loved ones now engage in a celebration of her life, the absence of her infectious smile has created a void that will be filled only through the passage of time.
Marty is survived by her brother, John Alexandroff of Wasilla, Alaska; son Jeff Wheeless, his wife Wilson, and their sons Drake and Duke; daughter Krista, her husband Ken Bedingfield, and their son Logan; and son Craig Wheeless, his wife Erin Rigney, and their children Noah, Riley (the only granddaughter), and Josiah.
A celebration of Marty's life, a "Marty Party," will take place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Jefferson County Open Space Nature Center at Boettcher Mansion on Lookout Mountain near Denver. For further information, visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/martyalexandroff.