“Mountains are giant, restful, absorbent. You can heave your spirit into a mountain and the mountain will keep it, folded, and not throw it back”
— Anne Dillard
Long time local and friend to many, Stacey Plunkett, abruptly passed to a different celestial realm on December 3, 2020. Stacey was just shy of her 45th birthday.
Stacey was born in Burbank, California in 1975. She moved to Colorado from Vermont after reading that Colorado boasts 300 days of sunshine. After a short stay in Denver, she found her way to Telluride and the San Juan mountains.
Stacey’s life was dedicated to others — from her work as a property manager for various clients, to always being there for her friends with water, lip stuff or a snack. When asked what made her happy, she once replied, “It makes me happy when others are warm and hydrated.”
Stacey’s passion for helping others inspired her to pursue an education in herbal medicine. She was a healer who gathered herbs, roots, flowers and plants to wildcraft tinctures, rubs, salves and essential oils for her business, Blessed Bee Herbs. She was an educator who loved to teach her fellow hikers about the bounty of nature. Many of her friends remember the way she would suddenly stop in the middle of a long hike, and make sure that everyone was taking in the view. She would say, “She’s showing off for us today!” or “We’re so lucky to be here!” She was a cook — canning, baking and creating vegan and vegetarian meals that she loved to share with her friends, always making sure that there was something on the table for everyone.
Stacey was enamored with the mountains where she lived and the oceans and beaches of her youth. She was grateful for the snowy peaks where she loved to cross country ski with friends and her dog, Osha. She loved sunsets and shooting stars and looked to the sky to inspire her passion for astrology, astronomy and the cycles of the moon.
A child of the universe, Stacey loved to travel. She was comfortable in any situation, easily striking up conversations with strangers in strange lands. She made her way through different countries — Jamaica, England, Italy, Croatia — using her chill attitude and open heart as her guide.
Stacey was a proud rainbow warrior who volunteered for the Telluride AIDS Benefit and Gay Ski Week. Along with a passion for cashmere, Stacey was famous for her t-shirts. She owned a wide range of clever tees for every occasion, always sure to entertain onlookers and make you laugh. If it had a unicorn on it, you could be sure she was wearing it.
Stacey loved to play softball in the Telluride recreational women’s league. In earlier years she played for the Dirty Divas, and most recently for the Buck. On the field, she was lovingly known as “Plunky Brewster,” or “Casual Stacey,” as evoked by her low lying hat, swagger when she ran
the bases and last second glove-out catches. Stacey loved her teammates — she was always ready with a handcrafted bottle of arnica in case a player took a ball to the shin. She spent her time in the outfield talking and laughing most of the time with moments of trying to actually play softball. She was the first Bucker to reach out with excitement every year at the start of the season, getting everyone fired up to play.
Second only to her passion for her nieces and nephews, was Stacey’s passion for her friends. She loved her friends loyally. Her greetings of “Hello gorgeous,” “Hey, lady” or “Hey, kid” made you feel immediately surrounded by her love. She possessed a fierce, sometimes snarky wit, and was not easily intimidated. She was adept at expanding people’s circles, making introductions, and creating a space of welcome. She was an old soul who loved to share books and recommendations for old Hollywood movies with her friends, and was the first to strike up a game of gin rummy or backgammon at the end of one of her delicious meals. Stacey loved a good dance party and owned an impressive vinyl collection.
As much as she loved her friends, Stacey loved her dogs even more. While a devout pet lover, she was most discerning — not all dogs were up to snuff in her eyes and she was quick to judge them on their manners. It was impossible for any dog to live up to her deepest canine love, Nellie, a beautiful black and white border collie with the best of manners. Her most recent dog, Osha, is now in the loving care of Scott and Dave and available for hikes, X-country skis and just a good old fashioned game of fetch (her favorite pastime).
Stacey had an indomitable spirit and a wry smile that always made those around her smile back. She made many strong bonds and deep connections in Telluride. She will be forever missed.
Stacey is survived by her loving extended family and her chosen family of many friends throughout the world.
Donations can be made in Stacey’s honor to the Telluride Mountain Club and the San Miguel Resource Center. Prayers for a winning season can be directed to Telluride’s Buck Softball Team and the LA Lakers.
Due to the pandemic, a celebration of Stacey’s life will be delayed until late spring or early summer of 2021, when we can all dance together.
If you’re struggling with mental health, feeling alone, or sad, reach out. People want to hear from you and you are not alone. The Center for Mental Health’s 24-hour crisis line can be reached at 970-252-6220. The San Miguel Resource Center’s 24-hour helpline is 844-816-3915.