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Ike Garst Memorial Service

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Ike Garst, my Dad, former owner of Berthoud Pass ski area, professor, entrepreneur, and much loved friend, passed away on August 1 in Denver, Colorado.

The Garst family will hold a memorial service and celebration of life this Saturday, August 5, at 1:30 pm at Trinity United Methodist Church located at 1820 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202. **If you intend to come, please let us know so we can help the church plan by filling out this form:** 

Remembrances can be added as a comment here, or sent to the family at

Obituary below:

Clarence E “Ike” Garst was born on August 22, 1950, in Hillsboro, Illinois, to Naomi and Clarence E “Zeke” Garst.  When Ike was nine months old, the family moved to a farm near Buffalo Center, Iowa, where Ike grew up. He lived and worked on the farm alongside his grandparents, parents, and brother. Ike was baptized and confirmed in the Buffalo Center Methodist Church. He graduated from high school in 1968, having played football, run track, and participated in Future Farmers of America, among other activities.

Ike then attended Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, obtaining a degree in History and Business.  After college, he taught school and coached in the Hawarden/Ireton, Iowa, school system, and then returned to farming. As a winter diversion, Ike spent two seasons managing the Quadna Mountain Ski Area in Minnesota. During this time, he developed a love of skiing that would lead him West. In 1976, he relocated to Colorado, where he worked for the Keystone Ski Area, but ever the entrepreneur, Ike wanted more. With help from his Iowa family, along with a good deal of confidence, hope, and resolve, Ike purchased the Berthoud Pass Ski Area in early June, 1977, at the age of 26. A few days later, he returned to Iowa where he married Lucy De Bonis on June 4. Less than a week later, the couple returned to Berthoud Pass to begin their life together.

Ike and Lucy owned and operated the area for ten years, where they lived year-round in the lodge at 11,314 feet. During this time, they welcomed two daughters, Beth and Nicole. Ike was an innovative ski area operator, and is most remembered for being the first in Colorado to allow snowboarders on the lifts. Despite being a skier himself, Ike is affectionately known as the “Father of Colorado Snowboarding.”

After leaving the area in 1987, Ike and Lucy came down the hill and settled in the Denver area and welcomed their third daughter, Ashley, into their lives. Ike then taught entrepreneurial studies, and continued the varied life of an entrepreneur. He started and sold companies in the financial services industry and served as a consultant. In 2004, he returned to the mountains and the ski industry in Summit county, maintaining other side ventures.

Ike enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping, skiing, and being outdoors. He remained a student of History, and was an avid reader and museum patron. Ike maintained his faith through membership at Trinity United Methodist Church. He was devoted to his family and friends and was the consummate conversationalist and host.

After a 12-year battle with brain cancer, Ike was admitted to the Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center. He passed away on August 1, 2017, at the age of 66, with family by his side. Ike is survived by his wife, Lucy; daughters Beth, Nicole Forsythe (Chuck) and Ashley (Sam Opp); grandson Colin Forsythe; mother Naomi; brother Gary (Debby); extended family members and many, many friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Zeke.  As a final gift to others, Ike donated his body to medical and scientific research through the Anatomical Board of the State of Colorado.

Ike 1996.jpg

Written by nicolibrarian

August 3, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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