Obituary: Marian Melville |

Obituary: Marian Melville

Marian Melville
Marian Melville
Provided Photo

February 12, 1930 – March 10, 2023

Marian Glee (Headley) Melville, born February 12, 1930 in Philadelphia, PA passed away on March 10, 2023 at home in Aspen, CO, surrounded by loving family. The only child of Francis Leon Headley and Grace Marian Fischer, she was raised in Philadelphia. She graduated from Upper Darby High School in June 1947 and obtained her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Bucknell University in 1951.
After joining her father at General Electric for a few years, in 1955 she traveled the world with Dottie Kelleher, another future Aspenite. It was at Mont Tremblant, on this year-long adventure, that she found a passion for skiing – and heard about Aspen.
She came to Aspen with Dottie to ski bum for one winter (’55-’56), working at both the Sundeck and the Golden Horn, and developed her signature graceful, flowing ski technique. Dottie convinced her to stay for the summer, and at a town picnic at Chapman Dam she met someone a friend called “Aspen’s most eligible bachelor”, Ralph Melville. They were engaged within 2 weeks and married August 18, 1956. For the next 6 decades, she never considered living anywhere but Aspen.
Ralph and Marian, along with a group of investors, built the Mountain Chalet Snowmass as part of the village and ski area development in 1967. They involved themselves in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures ranging from the Mark Twain apartment buildings in Denver to fruit orchards in Hotchkiss, but the Mountain Chalet in Aspen remained their most successful and consistent effort.
As the Mountain Chalet became self-sufficient, she involved herself in activities in line with her love for interacting with, and serving, others. She volunteered as a Blue Lady at Aspen Valley Hospital, at the Thrift Shop, and with the Read with Me program at Aspen Elementary school. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and ministered directly to the incarcerated through Prison Fellowship – all of these consistently and concurrently for decades. As part of this passion, Marian earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in September 1998.
On two separate occasions, Marian and Ralph took in local teenagers who were in need of a stable home and provided that and more through high school graduation and beyond.
Marian also served as the chair of the Colorado chapter of the Easter Seals Society, she was a Daughter of the American Revolution and a Colonial Dame; she and Ralph were inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame in 1997, were the King and Queen of Wintersköl in 2009, and she was named an American Heroine in a special 1991 issue of the Ladies Home Journal.
She is survived by children Julie Melville and Jeffrey Mann (Hailey, ID), Frank and Mary Melville (Parker, CO), Nancy (Melville) and Norman Bacheldor (Basalt, CO), Susan (Melville) and Bob Warren (Aspen), Karen (Melville) and David Thacker (Erie, CO), and Craig Melville (Aspen); foster daughters Riley Pond (Denver), Kaiulani (Ginter) and Adam Paulus (MN); grandchildren Michael and Ashley Inman (Friday Harbor, WA), Kari (Bacheldor) and Rederiche Carlson (Colorado Springs, CO), Rachael Inman and Jason Goodrich (Brooklyn, NY), Jordan Bacheldor and Tillie Hooker (Aspen), Hannah (Bacheldor) and Francisco Carballo (Crested Butte), Sarah Melville (Steamboat), Anna Battista (Erie), Grace Battista (Broomfield), Natalie Melville (Roanoke, VA), Elizabeth Melville (Denver), Stephen Melville (Westminster, CO), Rebeka (Inman) and Matt Sweda (Grand Rapids, MI), Paul Battista (Erie), Henry Melville (Chicago, IL); Hailey (Thelen) and Ryan DeReamer (Talkeetna, AK), and Vita Ghoste (nee Maggie Thelen) (MN); great-grandchildren Timothy, Hannah, Matthew and Tovah Inman, Rollin and Barret Goodrich, Nevaeh and Asher Carballo, and Kinley and Rylen Carlson; nieces and nephews Dana and Kass Huntly, Donna (Huntly) and John Baker, Dianne (Huntly) Erickson, and Darryl Huntly.
A memorial service will be held at Crossroads Church, 726 West Francis St, Aspen CO on Monday April 10th at 3:33pm: it will also be live streamed at the Mountain Chalet Aspen ( Reception to follow at the Mountain Chalet Aspen.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.