Longtime valley resident, letter scribe remembered
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Longtime Carbondale resident Mildred Baumli, who was well-known around the Roaring Fork Valley for her often sharp-tongued letters to the editor which appeared in the local newspapers, passed away this week.
In a day and age when computers, e-mail and Internet web logs (blogs) continue to push the printed word to the wayside, Baumli’s hand-written letters were always either hand-delivered to the local newspaper editor or came by mail.
“I’m not a afraid to speak my mind,” she said in a 2005 interview with Carbondale’s Valley Journal newspaper, which has since ceased publication. “Sometimes I’m not sure where it comes from.”
Baumli died Monday at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs at the age of 93.
Born July 22, 1916 in Oklahoma to a farming family, she and her family moved to Hotchkiss when Mildred was 11. She attended a one-room schoolhouse there, later relocating with her family to Marble where she met her future husband, Ed Baumli. They were married on Oct. 7, 1937 in Aspen.
A native of Basalt, Ed worked in the marble quarry before he and Mildred ran what’s now the Cap K Ranch up the Frying Pan Valley and started a family.
After moving to Carbondale in 1956, Ed went to work for the Garfield County Road and Bridge Department, while Mildred worked as a housekeeper for several years.
Together, they raised three children, son Eddie, and daughters Jane (Spaulding) and Susie (Cheney). Ed Baumli died in 1986.
Mildred was also known for her lovely flower gardens at the family home on the corner of Sopris Avenue and Weant Boulevard in Carbondale.
She was honored as one of the 2008 Carbondale Potato Day parade grand marshals. The fall festival is held every year to honor Carbondale’s farming and ranching heritage, in particular the potato, which was a primary cash crop for the valley in the early part of the 20th century.
“I like that it’s small,” Baumli said in another Valley Journal interview about Potato Day. “It’s hometown and you usually know everybody.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes, but I don’t think it’s for the better,” Baumli said of her life and times in the Roaring Fork and Crystal valleys.
“I love Carbondale,” she said. “Every morning I go to the front bedroom window and look out at Sopris. You can always tell what the weather is going to be by looking at Sopris.”
Baumli was preceded in death by her sister, Nadine, husband, Ed, and son, Freddie. She is survived by her brother, Gene Thurston, and daughters Jane and Susie, who still live in Carbondale with their husbands, Henry Spaulding and Jerry Cheney, respectively. She is also survived by five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
Services are planned for 10 a.m. Friday, May 14, at the Church at Carbondale.
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