Vino Anthony was 71 when he died on Wednesday. While it seemed too early for him to go, he sure showed everyone how to live life to the fullest while he was here.
He made sure those around him lived a little, too.
“My dad was probably responsible for introducing 4,000 kids to skiing. They’re all parents now and their kids are skiing,” said Chris Anthony, Vino’s son and an international skiing star.
Vino wasn’t a corporate type, so he created ways to keep the family on the snow and himself in business.
He started a children’s ski gear shop in Denver called the Kids Ski Equipment Company. The goal was to make skiing affordable for families, including his own.
“Their agenda may be to get their son or daughter to fall in love with skiing so they can ski more. At least this is how I was taught,” Chris said. “My dad had to be one of the more creative.”
Vino was one of the first ski instructors at Copper Mountain when it opened, working with Andy Daly and Kent Myers. At Copper, he started a children’s ski school called the Copper Choppers.
All the while he perfected his craft as a jewelry maker.
“Not too many sports promote this kind of father-son relationship. Sure, baseball and football allow for playing catch in the yard or the park. But skiing put you on mountains,” Chris said.
Vino Anthony was born Feb. 21, 1942, in Colorado Springs, one of nine children born to Sammy and Karina Rodriguez. When Vino was a child, the family moved to Crested Butte where Sammy worked in the mines.
Vino’s own family is another great story. Vino’s father-in-law was Sir Jacques Adler, knighted by the king of Belgium and appointed as a duke. His mother-in-law was May Evans, a Colorado native whose family helped found the municipality of Colorado Springs. They met while Adler was in Colorado recovering from tuberculosis.
In Crested Butte, Vino worked with the Crested Butte ski patrol and later moved to the ski school.
When Chris came along, Vino moved the family to Denver and became a jeweler with Jacques, the fourth generation in the trade.
Along the way, Jackie, Vino’s wife of 50 years, took care of the business’s books.
Eventually they landed in the Vail Valley when they built a home in Singletree and Vino was one of the first merchants in Beaver Creek. He opened a jewelry shop called the Golden Beaver. You’ve seen his work everywhere.
Vino was one of the Beav’s biggest boosters, and it seemed like he knew everyone.
One day he asked another shop owner why she didn’t buy any of his jewelry.
“It’s too expensive,” she said.
Not long afterward he wandered over to her shop to ask if he could borrow $5 for lunch. She figured business must be slow, so she handed over the money. Vino pulled out two Golden Beaver earrings and gave them to her.
“He was an excellent photographer and he and mom worked really, really hard,” Chris said.
When they got time off so they could relax, “he used his photography as an excuse to travel around the world with me. I had my personal photographer,” Chris said. “He was great and he worked cheap.”
Vino fell while skiing on Ramshorn with Club 50 — a group over the age of 50 who ski together — on Jan. 22 during Safety Week. He lived for almost six more months, through eight brain surgeries.
Vino is survived by his wife, Jackie Anthony; his daughter, Kelli Anthony Rohrig and her husband Kreston Rohrig; and son, Chris Anthony.