‘Sarge’ Brown, former Vail mountain manager, dies

Bill “Sarge” Brown, a former mountain manager of Vail Mountain, died Sunday.

He was 85 years old.

Brown died Sunday at his home in Grand Junction.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Callahan-Edfast Mortuary.

After Brown joined the U.S. Army in 1942, he was stationed at Camp Hale in Colorado and became a member of the 10th Mountain Division. He retired from the Army in 1966 as a senior sergeant major. Upon his retirement, Brown was invited to become Vail’s mountain manager. He was inducted into the Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1982.

Brown was known for his meticulous attention to detail and expectation of excellence from the people around him. Pat Peeples, owner of Peeples Ink, which handles media relations for Vail, recalled the first encounter she had with Brown, early in her career. She was five minutes late for a Monday morning staff meeting.

“Young lady,” Brown said to her, interrupting the meeting, “If you are less than five minutes early for one of my meetings, you are late,” Peeples recalled fondly. “I was never late again.”

Brown set the standard for the resort.

“Very rigid to work for, but there wasn’t a person out there that didn’t respect him and everything he stood for,” she said.


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