Carbondale mourns avalanche victim |

Carbondale mourns avalanche victim

CARBONDALE – Carbondale joined in mourning the loss of longtime Aspen resident and businessman Jon Seigle, who died in an avalanche near La Grave, France, while skiing with a guide on Monday. He was 57 years old.Seigle developed Carbondale’s Cowen Center subdivision in the early 1990s, where the Diamond Shamrock gas station, Day’s Inn, Comfort Inn and several commercial buildings across Cowen Drive are now located.He also partnered with local businessman Frank Taverna to develop the Hendrick Ranch residential subdivision, and was a partner with Bob Olenick in the Red Rock Diner, as well as similar restaurants in Eagle and New Castle.”I’ve known Jon since the 1970s. He wasn’t just a business partner, he was a good friend and a wonderful family man,” Olenick said. “He was a guy I could talk baseball with. He was a Yankees fan, but the diner is a Red Sox place. I feel a loss, and the community feels a loss.”Seigle is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Stewart, and daughters, Missy and Grace.”Developing the corner across the street was a necessary thing when it was done,” Olenick said of Seigle’s work at the Cowen Center.Seigle also owned the Basalt Store and gas station, which he remodeled last year, putting in an Internet café and smoothie bar.At Tuesday night’s Carbondale town council meeting, trustees passed a resolution to send condolences to the Seigle family and recognize his contributions in the town.Seigle was also a 15-year member of the Aspen School District board, before stepping down in November 2005. He was instrumental in creating the school district’s affordable housing program.”He was very dedicated and conscientious, and genuinely cared about kids and the instructional program,” Aspen Schools Superintendent Diane Sirko said. “He was very committed to the quality of life here, and saw education as important to that quality of life.”He was also very athletic, well-known as an avid skier and biker.La Grave is an off-piste-style ski area in the Alps, near Grenoble, with steep terrain and one lift, similar to Silverton in southern Colorado. Most people hire guides to ski there, though it is not required.A French Web site,, reported that an American was killed in an avalanche at 1 p.m. near the ski resort of Montgenèvre, which is about 19 kilometers from La Grave.Another Aspen resident, who was not identified, survived the slide uninjured.Aspen Times reporter Catherine Lutz contributed to this report.

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