Obituary: Stanley P. Cope
May 23, 1951 – March 2, 2023
Stanley P Cope, who lived, played and worked in the Vail area for over 4 decades, passed away peacefully, in the company of his wife Mary Ellen, son Ben and immediate family.
Admired by his friends and peers for his gusto, quality of life, athleticism and wellbeing, he contracted a rare form of cancer that he fought diligently for two years, earning quality time with his family and new grandson in the process. Stan was a familiar face in Vail Village for many years as he made his daily rounds from his office at the Lodge Tower to the Vail Athletic Club to the residences at Solaris, stopping here and there to catch up with the goings on about town. He was keenly interested in town politics, as well as the daily lives of those he encountered. He was an inspiration and mentor as he grew his businesses in Vail. He will be remembered by many as a fair and generous employer.
Stan landed in Colorado the way many did in the 70’s. After graduating from Penn in 1973, he took a gap year in Steamboat Springs to tend bar before his intended return to Penn for medical school. One year led to two, and with a one year break at U MI for a masters in land use planning, he decided the Colorado mountains would be his home. After Steamboat, he was in Breckenridge managing Beaver Run Condominiums for a few years before settling in Vail in 1984 to start his hospitality management company.
Stan lived in Lake Creek in Edwards, a peaceful retreat he dearly loved, before moving to Denver in 2020. He was always a steward of the land, serving with passion for many years on the board of Eagle Valley Land Trust.
An avid bicyclist, he checked off all the big Colorado rides. There were also many memorable rides through many states and numerable vacation rides around the world with special friends. In the summers when he wasn’t riding his bike, you could find him on the golf course, particularly his favorite, Frost Creek. Having learned golf as a child in Palmerton, PA, he made it all seem so effortless, frustrating all who had the good fortune to play a round with him. He eventually had a second home in Scottsdale AZ where he could spend “shoulder seasons” on beautiful desert courses.
His first love, though, was skiing. First, an accomplished bump skier, he took up telemark skiing in the 80’s as he wanted a challenge as he chased his toddler, Ben, down the slopes in Vail. Later, his graceful turns on his telemarks were a joy to watch as he could out ski some alpine buddies.
Stan was so loved by his family and many friends, and he sincerely cherished everyone in return. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, intelligence, warmth and generosity, his professional drive, and passion for all things outdoors.
A memorial for Stan will be held at the Vail Interfaith Chapel, on Monday, June 5 at 10am. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Eagle Valley Land Trust (34215 US-6 #205, Edwards, CO 81632) in Stan’s name, or to a charity of your choice.
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