Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Clayton Stone Bench (Aspen Highlands)

The Clayton Stone Bench is located near the base at Aspen Highlands. On the seat back of the bench it says:

"It's another day in which to excel
Clayton Stone
Our friend and Mentor"

Clayton Stone was employed by Gerald Hines who developed the base area at Aspen Highlands in the 1990's.  He was an Executive Vice President of Hines' company.  All of the information that follows in this paragraph is from the Aspen Historical Society (obtained from a "Heritage Aspen" link that no longer works):  "Aspen Mountain was the only ski area in Aspen until 1958. That year, Friedl Pfeifer opened Buttermilk for the Aspen Ski Company and Whipple Van Ness Jones opened the Aspen Highlands.  Whip Jones, raised in Wisconsin, attended the Goethe Bicentennial in 1949 and later took a 30-year lease on 4,200 acres of National Forest land at the base of Highland Peak.  He invited Pete Seibert, a 10th Mountain veteran, and Earl Eaton, former head of the Aspen Mountain ski patrol, to lay out trails and lift line corridors.  Aspen Highlands opened with the help of charismatic ski instructors Fred Iselin and Stein Eriksen.  In 1993, Whip Jones donated the ski area to Harvard University, which then sold it to Houston-based developer Gerald Hines.  Hines then struck a deal with the Aspen Skiing Company, which assumed the operation of Highlands, where Hines developed a new base area."

This obituary for Clayton Stone appeared in the Houston Chronicle on May 30, 2003:

"STONE, Friday, 05/30/2003, Houston Chronicle, Section A, Page 3.  On Monday, May 26, CLAYTON TED STONE, 69, of Rosanky, Texas, started on his long journey home, after a brave battle with cancer. His is survived by his wife Murray, three children, four grandchildren, and many, many friends. We will miss you. Clayton was born in Rio Grande City in 1934, son of Faye and Ted Stone. He graduated from McAllen High School (1951) and Rice University (1955). Mentor and role model for many, his achievements in the workplace have included key participation in the development of the JPMorganChase Tower, and many other real estate development projects in Houston, Minneapolis, Denver, and Aspen, with [Gerald] Hines. A loving father and husband, his passions were backpacking and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He was considered a legendary teller of jokes, and in later years, he gathered a respectable collection of art and music of which he was quite proud. Clayton enjoyed learning -- gaining new knowledge, taking on new adventures, and above all, learning about people. A rosary will be said for Clayton at the Marrs-Jones Funeral Home in Smithville, on the evening of Wednesday, May 28. He will be buried at St. Mary's Catholic Church Cemetery in String Prairie on Thursday morning after a simple service for family, closest friends and parishioners. All are invited to a Memorial Service followed by a reception in his honor to celebrate and give thanks for his life, in Houston, at Rice University, the Alice Pratt Brown Hall on Friday, May 30, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. The Hall can be reached from Entrance 8 off of University Boulevard or Entrance 12 off of Rice Boulevard. Instead of flowers, charitable contributions in memory of Clayton T. Stone may be sent to the International Myeloma Foundation (; West County Helping Hands (PO Box 549; Fulshear, Tx 77441); Children's Advocacy Center of Bastrop County (PO Box 1098, Bastrop, Tx 78602; 512-303-3985); or the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry, (PO Box 953, Bastrop, Tx, 78602; 512-303-0033)."

If you have any information about this item that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at [email protected]. Thank you to Randi Bolton for her help with the information on this page.

Photos of the bench are below.

Click on images to enlarge.