Aspen Times reporter, editor

Passing Date: 
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Aspen reporter Mary Eshbaugh Hayes, known to readers and fans as MEH, died Jan. 22 of pancreatic cancer. She was 86.

Hayes joined The Aspen Times in 1952 as a reporter and photographer. Over the next 20 years she worked as a freelance writer while raising her family. She returned to the Times as a full time reporter in 1972, eventually serving as editor-in-chief during an era when the paper shifted from weekly to daily publication. Her weekly column “Around Aspen” documented town events and social life at all demographic levels.

Hayes won dozens of awards from the Colorado Press Women’s Association and the National Federation of Press Women. Her books won the International Skiing History Association’s Ullr Award in 1997 and 2002. She was named to the Aspen Hall of Fame in 2008.

Her books include Aspen Potpourri, a collection of recipes including profiles of the local chefs – professional and otherwise – who created them, and The Story of Aspen, compiling her own newspaper profiles and photos (with Aspen Times photographer Chris Cassatt).   

She is survived by her five children: Pauli Hayes, of Scottsville, Virginia; Elli Ford, of Center Sandwich, New Hampshire; Lauri Hayes, of Glenwood Springs; Clayton Hayes, of Honolulu; and Jess Bates, of Glenwood Springs and Aspen. She also is survived by her seven grandchildren and one great grandson: Gus Fitzgerald of Aspen; Tamas Bates, of Seattle; Paul Hayes, David Hayes and Reid Hayes, of Honolulu; Meridith Carr, of Annapolis, Maryland, and her son, John Carr; and Alice Ford, of Los Angeles. No plans for a memorial service have been announced.

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