Godfather of snowboarding

Sherman Poppen
Passing Date: July 31, 2019

Sherman Poppen, the Muskegon, Michigan businessman who invented the Snurfer, died July 31 at age 89. On Christmas Day of 1965, Poppen needed to get his daughters out of the house so that his pregnant wife, Nancy, could rest. He bolted together a pair of kids’ skis and encouraged them to ride the...

Journalist, publicist, politician

Ruth Lieder
Passing Date: July 15, 2019

Three-term Sun Valley mayor and ski resort publicist Ruth Lieder died on July 15 of natural causes with her beloved golden retriever, Jessie, by her side. She was 88. Lieder grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Smith College in 1953. She landed at Sports Illustrated magazine, covering ski...

Five-time biathlon and cross-country Olympian

Peter Lahdenpera
Passing Date: July 3, 2019

Pekka Johannes “Peter” Lahdenpera of Fort Collins, Colorado, a five-time Olympian in biathlon and cross country, died on July 3. Born December 29, 1935 in Helsinki, Finland, Lahdenpera came to the U.S. with his mother and siblings in 1948. They were following his father, Erkki Lahdenpera, an...

FIS official, Whistler pioneer

Peter Andrews
Passing Date: May 30, 2019

Peter Henry Andrews, a Vancouver dentist who devoted his life to organized skiing, died May 30 after a short illness. He was 80 years old. Andrews grew up in Vancouver and raced in high school. In 1962 he became one of the first investors in Whistler (the mountain opened in 1965). He earned his...

Squaw Valley coach

Hans Standteiner
Passing Date: May 29, 2019

Hans Standteiner, 89, longtime coach at Squaw Valley, died March 29 after a long battle with cancer.  Born near Bad Gastein, Austria and apprenticed as a blacksmith, but his passion was ski racing. After teaching skiing in Iran and Turkey, he joined the ski school at Sugarbush, Vermont, where he...

Ski Show Impresario

Harry Leonard
Passing Date: May 23, 2019

Harry A. Leonard, who created the first modern consumer ski shows in 1958, died May 23, at age 92. Leonard grew up in Philadelphia, earned an engineering degree at Purdue and went to work in Chicago for the printer R.R. Donnelly. He soon joined the Chicago Sun Times as an ad salesman, later moving...

Sales exec, importer

Frank Vener
Passing Date: May 12, 2019

Franklyn Baker Vener, a ski-business sales executive, died May 12 in Westport, Connecticut. He was 85. Vener was born in 1934 in Mount Vernon, New York. He raced on the University of Vermont ski team, graduating in 1956, and then joined the Army. He served for two years at Camp Hale, Colorado,...

Superstar of 1966 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships

Gjermund Eggen
Passing Date: May 6, 2019

Gjermund Eggen, the Norwegian cross-country ski racer most remembered for his unprecedented win of three gold medals in the 1966 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships (WSC) in Oslo, died May 6, 2019, after a brief illness, at age 78. Eggen’s triple world-championships win in men’s cross-country was a...

Teton Village hotelier

Dietrich Oberreit
Passing Date: April 6, 2019

Jackson Hole innkeeper Dietrich Hermann Oberreit passed away peacefully on April 6 at age 95. Born in Paterson, New Jersey, following the death of his father, he moved to his mother’s native Switzerland at age eight. The family returned to the United States in 1942. Oberreit enlisted in the U.S....

Prolific ski writer

Nicholas Howe
Passing Date: April 4, 2019

Nicholas Sheldon Howe, 85, died April 4, 2019, after an extended illness. One of the most prolific ski writers of his generation, Howe began his skiing career as a member of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol in 1952. He turned to teaching school in the 1960s in New Hampshire, an in 1977 began writing ski...