June 7, 1926 ~ March 1, 2013|
Lee James Bronson passed away peacefully Friday afternoon, March 1, in Paradise Valley, Arizona, in the presence of his loving family.
Lee will be remembered as the consummate gentleman, devoted husband, dedicated Dartmouth College alumni and good friend to many.
Lee was born in Monroe, Michigan on June 7, 1926, to George Bronson and Ruth Sising. He graduated from Monroe High School, then onto Dartmouth College where he joined Beta Theta Pi. His schooling was interrupted when he served in the U.S. Air Corp. in Fort Sill, Oklahoma just prior to the end of World War II. After the war, he returned to Dartmouth and graduated with the Class of '49. He then remained in Hanover, New Hampshire, receiving his MBA from Tuck Business School in 1951.
He met his future wife, Florence Fotes, while skiing at Alta in 1955. They were married on May 12, 1965 and celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary last year.
Lee worked with his father at Consolidated Paper, in Michigan, but was not fond of the business. After working there for two years, he and a friend visited Alta, Utah with the Detroit Ski Club. He fell in love with the West and decided he wanted to live in ski country. Lee and his Ski Club friend went back to Michigan and the following summer the two men went to Sun Valley, Idaho to purchase a car dealership, but they were denied the dealership as they lacked automobile industry experience. They decided to go into business together, so when his friend bought Wilderness Trails Guest Ranch, Durango, Colorado, Lee joined him in that venture. Nonetheless, Lee couldn't get skiing at Alta, Utah out of his mind.
In 1954, at the age of 28, Lee returned to Alta to visit the Morton's who managed the Alta Lodge. They informed him that Rustler Lodge was for sale and Lee was excited for the opportunity to purchase the property. He was an accomplished skier and enjoyed many years meeting and skiing with guests from all over the world. Lee's vision and guidance grew the Rustler Lodge to become what it is today, one of the premier ski resort lodges. In 1970 Lee was instrumental in the formation and incorporation of the Town of Alta, including serving as its' first Mayor.
Other hobbies Lee pursued were golf, reading and traveling. The friends he made on the golf course and ski hill were his very best friends. He was a member of The Country Club, the Alta Club, Paradise Valley Country Club and the University Club. He and Florence traveled the world with their many friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother George and his sister Barbara Doyle.
He is survived by his wife Florence and his adopted son, Jeffery Bronson Anderson.
A private celebration of Lee's life will be held this summer in Alta. It was Lee's wish to have his ashes spread mountainside with his close friends and buddies.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Mar. 6 to Mar. 10, 2013