NASTAR founder, ISHA chair, lifelong ski journalist

John Fry
Passing Date: January 24, 2020

John Fry, the dean of North American ski journalists, died suddenly but peacefully on January 24, two days after celebrating his 90th birthday Fry was in apparent good health. According to the local medical examiner, he suffered a heart attack while floating quietly in shallow water off a beach on...

Canadian champion skier

Rhona Wurtele Gillis
Passing Date: January 17, 2020

Rhona Wurtele Gillis died January 17, 2020, in Montreal, less than a week before her 98th birthday. She is survived by her twin sister, Rhoda Wurtele Eaves. The Wurtele twins, the youngest of five children, were born in Saint-Lambert, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal. As kids, the twins were natural...

Innovative manufacturer

Dave Goode
Passing Date: January 15, 2020

The founder and president of Goode Ski Technologies, Dave Goode was killed January 15 when his twin-engine Cessna 310 crashed while on approach to the Ogden, Utah airport. He was 64. A gifted athlete, Dave was an accomplished skier and water skier. He graduated from Andover High School in...

10th Mountain Division hero, ski illustrator

Jacques Parker
Passing Date: December 22, 2019

Jacques Parker, the internationally celebrated ski illustrator and a veteran of the US 10th Mountain Division, who scaled Italy’s Riva Ridge to help capture enemy positions in one of America’s most daring WWII battle engagements, died on December 22, 2019 at the age of 98.  He had recently...

Ski historian, collector and ISHA board member

Luzi Hitz
Passing Date: November 28, 2019

Luzi Hitz, a noted Swiss ski historian, ski collector, indefatigable researcher and writer and ISHA director, died November 28, 2019 in Corseaux, Switzerland. He was 89. A passionate ski collector and historian, Hitz dedicated much of his life to celebrating and preserving the sport’s rich history...

Burton Snowboards founder

Jake Burton Carpenter
Passing Date: November 20, 2019

Jake Burton Carpenter, founder of Burton Snowboards and a key early promoter of the sport, died November 20, 2019, in Burlington, Vermont. Cause of death was complications from testicular cancer, for which he was first treated in 2011.   To the snowboarding culture, Carpenter shares founding-father...

Columbia Sportswear president

Gert Boyle
Passing Date: November 3, 2019

Gert Boyle, the Holocaust refugee who built Columbia Sportwear into a giant corporation, died November 3 in Portland, Oregon. She was 95 years old. Born Gertrude Lamfrom in Augsburg, Germany, she was brought to the United States at age 13, in 1937, when her family fled Nazi Germany. Her father...

Modernized Kitzbühel's ski school

Karl Koller
Passing Date: October 26, 2019

Karl Koller, the 1946 Hahnenkamm combined champion who went on to revolutionize ski instruction for kids and adult beginner, died October 26 in his home town, Kitzbühel. He turned 100 last April. (For a full biography, see the January-February 2019 issue of Skiing History) Koller grew up in...

Alpinist, extreme skier

Davo Karničar
Passing Date: September 16, 2019

Davorin Karničar, Slovenian alpinist and the first person to complete a ski descent from the summit of Everest, died September 16 in a tree-cutting accident, at age 56. Karničar grew up climbing and skiing with his father in the mountains around Jezersko, an alpine village a few miles from Slovenia...

Iconic cross-country competitor, pioneer and promoter

Joe Pete Wilson
Passing Date: September 13, 2019

Joseph Peter (“Joe Pete”) Wilson, Sr., an iconic figure in winter recreation, died September 13, 2019, in Lake Placid, New York. He was 84. He’ll be remembered as a tireless cross-country skiing promoter and longtime proprietor of the Adirondack’s Bark Eater Inn. Born and raised in Lake Placid,...