Category Archives: Obituary

Deer Valley’s Stein Eriksen Dies at 88

Norwegian ski champ & American ski legend left his mark.   

SteinEriksen2The passing of Stein Eriksen, 1952 Olympic champion and 1954 three-time world champion from Norway, will be mourned by the entire skiing community. He was part of the growth of skiing in the U.S. in the go-go ’60s. He was ski school director or director of skiing at  Boyne Mountain, Sugarbush, Aspen Highlands, Heavenly Valley, Snowmass, Park City and perhaps others I can’t recall.

In 1981, he joined Deer Valley, a new resort on the outskirts of Park City, Utah. No one will ever know what part his association with the resort played in its success, but it must have been considerable because the two were made for each other. The resort’s namesake Stein Eriksen Lodge is perpetually ranked as one of America’s top hotels for its location, elegance, service and cuisine. Stein remained as classy as the hotel named to honor him. He never wore a hat (and perhaps never a helmet either), and images of his full head of blond hair, Scandinavian sweaters and gracefully angulated, feet-together ski style epitomized his “Nordic god” image. He remained an elegant, gracious and classy icon of the sport.

The Stein style of yesteryear.
The Stein style of yesteryear.

In 2007, a day after celebrating his 80th birthday, he was injured in a collision with a 9-year-old resort visitor who reportedly “popped out of the trees” into Eriksen’s path. After surgeries related to that incident, he grew gaunt, and I frankly don’t know whether he continued to ski. Sadly, in 2013, he was hospitalized with some neurological issues. Even more sadly, Eriksen died on December 27 at the age of 88. He is survived by his wife  Françoise and children Julianna, Ava, Anja, and Bjørn. Stein, Jr. predeceased  his famous father. RIP.

"I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane"

RIP: Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary

“All my bags are packed,
I’m ready to go.
I’m standing here outside your door.
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye.

“But dawn is breakin’,
It’s early morn’.
The taxi’s waitin’,
He’s blowin’ his horn. . .

“I’m leavin’ on a jet plane.
Don’t know when I’ll be back again.
Oh Babe, I hate to go.”

Mary Travers has gone on her final journey. We know that she won’t be back again, but her music is her legacy. We’ll miss her broad smile, her creative talent, her stage presence, her straight blond hair, her distinctive voice that harmonized so well with Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stuckey, her idealism. The whole package. Click here to listen to Peter, Paul & Mary’s rendition of what I think of as the most poignant travel song.