Benjamin Millington Kelton was born in Bennington, Vt., on Dec. 6, 1942, and died peacefully at his home in Steamboat Springs on Nov. 1, 2010.
Ben, son of Lorraine (Millington) and Arthur M. Kelton and brother of Art Kelton, grew up in Peru, Vt. He was the great-grandson of Marshall J. Hapgood, of Peru, whose land holdings formed the beginning of the Green Mountain National Forest. He attended the one-room school in Peru through eighth grade and then graduated in 1960 from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H. College brought him west, and he attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, graduating in 1965 with a degree in government.
Ben moved to Vail in 1966 and worked in the hospitality/restaurant business at The Clock Tower and Ore House Restaurants in Vail Village. He later ran The Club House Restaurant at the Eagle Vail Golf Club when it opened in 1975.
He worked for Kelton-Garton Real Estate on Bridge Street for several years before moving to Steamboat Springs in 1989.
Ben loved the outdoors: hunting and fishing were passions from his growing-up years in Vermont. Always accompanied by his dog, his days were happiest when he hunted and fished the surrounding countryside. He enjoyed a lifelong love of gardening.
A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday in Steamboat Springs in the Yampa River Botanic Park. A gathering for his Vail friends will be held in his memory at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Pepi’s Deck. All who knew Ben are most welcome.
A graveside memorial service and interment will be held in spring at the Peru Village Cemetery.
Ben is survived by his brother, Arthur Jr., and his wife, Elaine, of Vail, and three stepnieces and their families.
Donations may be made in Ben’s memory to Hospice Services, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, c/o Yampa Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 776090, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.