Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Curtis Cleveland Bench (Aspen Mountain)

The Curtis Cleveland Bench is a wooden bench with the following carved in the back of the seat: 

"In Loving Memory of Curtis Cleveland 1931-2000"


Here is the story of the Curtis Cleveland memorial service (the link to this no longer works):

"Curtis D. Cleveland, April 18, 1931 – March 30, 2000 

Curtis Cleveland’s memorial was held at the top of Aspen Mountain April 5, 2000.  He would have been 69 April 18th.  His Memoriam in the program reads as follows:  Curtis Cleveland collapsed suddenly from a heart attack Thursday March 30, 2000, standing beside his wife Hattie on Aspen Mountain.  Curtis Dale Cleveland was the adopted son of Edwin C. Cleveland and Lillian Barnes Cleveland.  He served overseas as a Lieutenant in the Air Force for 5 years.  He was a teacher and headmaster of a number of schools in New England.  He also taught as a full-time ski instructor at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, Vermont, before settling in Aspen in the late sixties.  Curtis has been an outstanding and well-loved instructor for the Ski School of Aspen. He was also known for his home building, and in later years became a computer consultant for the Aspen Skiing Company as well as for many others in the Roaring Fork Valley.  Curtis is survived by his wife Hattie M. Cleveland and his children David W. Cleveland, Mary Jane Anderson and Edwin “Chip” Cleveland as well as his grand children Spencer Cleveland and Marshall Cleveland, and his daughter-in-law Julie Cleveland.  We will miss his dry wit and friendship, and we will never forget his graceful form on the ski slopes.  As Curtis often said, “Remember, the mountain always wins.”  There were approximately 200 family and friends in attendance. The memorial service was conducted by two ministers who are the sister and brother-in-law of Hattie.  They also married Curtis and Hattie. They evoked personal experiences with Curtis and read from scriptures from the Bible. Hattie’s sister spoke of how her marriage to Curtis allowed her to be true to herself, and thus she flourished. Hattie asked her sister to tell us something that not very many people about Curtis, that Curtis was a strong believer in God and had read the Bible from cover to cover.  Others spoke of how Curtis and Hattie never let a day go by without speaking of their love for each other.  Hattie was Curtis’s 4th wife. He said to me on several occasions that he was so very proud of Hattie and this time he finally got it right!  People in attendance also spoke of Curtis’s love for skiing, ski racing, teaching and mentoring. They also reminded us of his generosity, wit and approachability.  Curtis didn’t speak much, but when he did, he sparked our attention. Curtis knew how to have fun, lived the way he wanted to, and died the way he wanted to, with his boots on.  Patty O’Brien" 

An Aspen Daily News article of April 3, 2000 has more information on him; it is quoted below.

Published on Aspen Daily News Online April 3, 2000.



The Curtis Cleveland bench is located near the top of the Silver Queen Gondola on Aspen Mountain.  Photos of it are below.

This item is part of a Facebook photo album that covers various signs and plaques on Aspen Mountain (you do not need to have a Facebook account in order to view the album):

If you have any photos of or information about this item that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at  [email protected].



Click on images to enlarge.