Mary Ann Muchow, 69, of Estes Park died Monday, July 15, 2013, after a short illness. Under hospice care and surrounded by her sister Ruth Lipker and brother-in-law Roger Lipker of Boulder, Mary Ann died as she wished, sitting on her couch peacefully at home. A veteran server at the Stanley Hotel, Mary Ann was well known among local Estes Park residents and returning tourists who more often than not asked for her table. After her 22 years at the hotel she could remember guests' orders from the day or even a year before. On her 20th anniversary of service to the hotel, Stanley management threw a party for Mary Ann and gave her a pair of diamond earrings, which she always wore when she prepared fun, special dinners for her great nieces Anna and Emma and great nephew Alex in Fort Collins. Described by her 85-year-old aunt as "always an interesting and unusual child," Mary Ann was born on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 1944, in Yuma, Colorado, to Robert E. and Doris L. (Sehl) Muchow of Otis. She grew up in Otis where she said she learned her work ethic and her quiet self-reliance. She graduated from Otis High School, then attended Stevens College in Columbia, Missouri, and finally Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Trained at Stevens to become a concert pianist, she opted instead to make a difference by becoming a free spirit during the turbulent 1960s. She leased the Avery Mansion on Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins where she became a sort of "housemother" to an eclectic group of more free spirits who debated the issues of the day. After serving for years as director of marketing research at Water Pik where she said she learned "how to listen and manage people," Mary Ann eventually moved to Estes Park where she began working for the Stanley. In her spare time she went to the University of Colorado School of Nursing and earned her nursing degree, which became useful when she cared for her ailing father in his dying years.
She also took up quiltmaking, which culminated in the completion of a Stanley Hotel commemorative quilt she presented to her "community family" of Stanley management and staff a few days before she died. Once mounted, it will be on display in the lobby of the hotel.
Other quilts she was proud of were those she made upon the birth of her great nieces and great nephews: Anna, Alex and Emma Lipker; and Lily, Ben and Tucker Muchow.
Mary Ann Muchow was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Doris Muchow, and grandparents Otto and Sadie Muchow, and Joseph and Elizabeth Sehl. She is survived by her sister Ruth Ellen Lipker (Roger) of Boulder, brother Paul (Pat) of Coeur de Lane, Idaho; nieces Kim Lipker of Fort Collins and Karen Lipker of Redondo Beach, California; nephews Ryan Muchow of Spokane, Washington, and Philip Muchow of Denver. She is also survived by hundreds of extended family, and especially by her friends, including current and past Stanley employees, her chiropractor Rob Teigen, her Tarot reader Madame Vera, and her longtime friend of 46 years Ardith Loustalet of Fort Collins who shared as a caregiver in Mary Ann's final days. Per her wishes, no funeral will be held. A private inurnment will be conducted at a later date in the Otis cemetery. Arrangements by Allnut-Estes Park. See www.allnutt.com to send a message to Mary Ann's family.
Published in Estes Park Trail-Gazette on July 18, 2013