Winter Park Exec, Racer and Racing Official

Passing Date: 
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thor B. Groswold, 89, died February 22 at Mercy Regional Hospital in Durango, Colorado. The son of Denver ski manufacturer Thor C. Groswold and Bernice Brandt, he grew up racing and jumping and working in his father’s ski factory.

Beginning in 1947, Thor raced four-way (slalom, downhill, cross country and jumping) for Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He joined the Air Force as a survival instructor in 1950. In 1951 he married Twyla Read of Glenwood Springs. After the Korean War, Thor completed a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Colorado. Upon graduation in 1957 he joined Marathon Oil as a construction project engineer.

Thor remained involved in skiing, serving as chief of alpine calculators at the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics, and in the mid-1960s he returned to the ski business as assistant general manager for the new Miner-Denver ski-lift company. Beginning in 1967 he directed Winter Park’s ski jumping program, and became a USSA jumping judge. He was named to the USSA Jumping Committee, the Junior Nordic Committee, the USSA Ski Jump Engineering Committee, and the Jumping Judges’ Committee.

In 1974 Thor joined Winter Park as business manager. The following year his brother Jerry was named president of the ski area. Thor became senior vice president and chief financial officer. In 1980 he served as chief steward for the Olympic ski jumping events at Lake Placid. He became Chairman of the Certified Officials Association and co-authored the first timing manual for officials of the Rocky Mountain Division.

Upon retirement in 1987, Thor and Twyla moved to Cortez, Colorado, then to Montrose and finally to Bayfield/Durango in 2015. Thor was elected to the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1991, and to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 2004.  He served many years on the boards of the Rocky Mountain Ski Association and the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame and Museum. —Seth Masia

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