Scott Steven Spencer, accompanied by his faithful companion Murphy, skied his ultimate powder run on March 3. He died doing what he loved in the mountains that he loved. He was 53.
Everything about Scott was big, bold and all-in. His laugh was loud and legendary, his smile was infectious, and his crazy curly hair was unmistakable. He could lay a perfect ski track down a run of 6-inch breakable wind crust with his trademark hop-turns and make it look easy. He didn’t like to tune his skis because going slower in the steep and deep powder meant more turns. He skied more days every year than most people do in a lifetime. He never saw a mountain he wasn’t ready to climb and ski back down, sometimes before breakfast but always in time to make it to the next concert or show.
Scott loved his extended family of in-laws (Silton), aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and his sisters, Bonnie Spencer (Catherine Anderson), Debbie Jacobs (Andy and their son Seth), Meghan Spencer and stepmom Linda Spencer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Carol Spencer. His love extended to too many friends to count, bluegrass and Grateful Dead music, mountain biking, amusement parks and the Broncos. He was equally at ease mingling with dirt-poor hippies, billionaires, professors, musicians, tourists and indigenous people in foreign lands.
Scott was a rare true local in Telluride. He grew up and attended school in town, and his dad Peter was the mayor. After high school, Scott spent some time in Gunnison at Western State University before transferring to his real alma mater, the University of Alta. If you ever got up early enough to try for first chair at Alta in the late 1980s or early 1990s, Scott was probably there in line just ahead of you. And if you looked up at High Rustler on a powder day and envied that skier making first tracks right down the middle that was probably Scott.
Scott moved back to Telluride from Alta in 1991 and lived there ever since. When the gates opened for the mad dash to set your tarp at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Scott was again there in line just ahead of you. Always having an open mind and an open heart, Scott fell in love with a snowboarder, Sara. They were married in Telluride and have two wonderful boys, Peter and Jack, who are following in their dad’s footsteps through the halls of Telluride’s schools and up and down its mountains.
His adventures with friends and family took him all over the United States, much of it on bicycle, and to the far reaches of the Earth from Alaska to Africa to Tahiti to Israel. He made friends wherever he went and always had an interest in others. He was engaged and supportive with children and kind to strangers, but he would never let his friends get away with being lazy. Whether you may have been a child just learning to ski or mountain bike or a self-proclaimed expert, if you heard Scott say “Follow me!” it was sure to be an adventure of a lifetime.
Scott turned 53 a week before his final ski run, but he will live forever in the hearts of everyone who knew him. Look up and you may see him ripping an epic line through the clouds.
The celebration of Scott’s life will be Saturday from 4:30-7 p.m. at The Peaks. Ski attire is always welcome and appropriate, but please, no ski or snowboard boots.
Donations can be made to the Telluride Foundation. Please mail checks to Telluride Foundation C/O Scott Spencer Fund PO Box 4222 Telluride, CO 81435
Donate online at telluridefoundation.org/donate/
Call or email Katie Singer for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-728-8717.