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Martha Downer Waterman

Martha Downer Waterman of Basalt died Friday, Feb. 27, 2004, at her home.

She was 91.

A celebration of her life will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 6, at Valley Pines, 1400 East Valley Road in Basalt. There will be time at the service for friends to share a special memory about Martha.



Cremation and a private family service have taken place.

She was born Martha Downer on March 30, 1912, in Leadville to Faith Kinaird Rowe and Edward Mott Downer.



She was raised in Basalt and Aspen by her mother and stepfather, Thomas McNeil.

She graduated from Aspen High School in 1930, and earned a bachelor of arts degree from Colorado State Teacher’s College in Greeley in 1933.

She started teaching that year at a one-room school in Old Snowmass, riding horseback to get from her home to school. She worked as a teacher in the Roaring Fork Valley for 34 years.

She married Leroy Clayton Waterman on July 11, 1936.

They owned the Castle Creek Cabins and the Phillips 66 Service Station in Aspen for nearly 20 years.

In the late 1950s they moved to a ranch in Basalt, where they raised and showed American Saddlebred horses.

After her husband’s death in 1985, she continued to run a bed and breakfast inn at Basalt.

Mrs. Waterman lived an active life. She was an avid skier and loved the outdoors. She especially enjoyed picnics into the mountains by horseback.

Later in life, she was an enthusiastic bridge player, bird watcher, gardener and world traveler. She traveled to Venezuela on an Audubon Society bird-watching trip.

In 2000, Mrs. Waterman and her sister, Mary Evans, co-authored the book, “Sis,” recounting their memories and experiences growing up in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Basalt mayor presented her with a Certificate of Achievement in Fine Arts for the memoir.

She was a member of the Aspen Community Church and Order of the Eastern Star in Aspen.

Mrs. Waterman was a committed wife, mother and teacher whose positive attitude and hard work were an example and inspiration to many people in the Roaring Fork Valley throughout her 91 years of life.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Leroy Waterman, in 1985; by a sister, Virginia Hendricks; and by a half-brother, Thomas McNeil.

Mrs. Waterman is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Gayle Waterman of Basalt; by a daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Nick Huston of Glenwood Springs; by a sister, Mary Evans of Walla Walla, Wash.; and by a grandson, Jordan Huston of Hayden.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mid-Valley Seniors, P.O. Box 444, Basalt, CO 81621.

Farnum Holt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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