Obituary: Martin J. Gotantas
Martin J. Gotantas
Nov. 22, 1958 — Oct. 5, 2015
Marty passed on to a higher place after a brief, intense battle with melanoma on Oct. 5, 2015 — his wife, Jen, and best lab, Benson, at his side. A warrior with tremendous courage, Marty was released and a rainbow encircled their home with light.
Growing up in Baldwinville, Massachusetts, his father, Pete, instilled his love of the mountains. The boys would load into the van on cold, dark mornings to ski — no matter the weather. No whiners allowed! Mastering the “firm” conditions of Stratton Mountain trained him for racing in the very Serious Business League of Keystone and Copper, cultivating lasting relationships over a few beers.
He loved his sports — both participating and watching. He followed his hockey dream and played in a junior league in the East. Life on a bus was not as glamorous as he had hoped, and the Bruins were not calling; however, he continued to play in the men’s league in Breckenridge and Hockey Classics to get his fix. With dreams of hoisting the Stanley Cup faded, he decided to “Go West, young man.” With his training as an electrician in hand, he followed his passion for skiing to Colorado in a ‘57 Chevy with his buddies. The ‘80s were great — working at Keystone Race Department in the winter, pulling wire in the summer and a tremendous moustache!
He took his skiing to the next level in the Keystone Ski School. Marty achieved his Level 3 PSIA certification. Natural talent, immense patience and genuine kindness allowed him to teach anyone —child, pro athlete, Navy SEAL or your mom. He was tapped to coach for The Mahre Training Center in the 1990s. This was the highest honor to be on this special team, and they looked very cool in their stretch pants. Racing in leagues for fun gave way to seeking deep powder turns on cat trips to British Columbia. Looking for new opportunities in the ski industry led him up The Pass to The Legend — Arapahoe Basin, where he ran events and the ski school for a few years with an amazing crew; in particular, Marty had soft spot for the kids in ski club. The Basin has a special place in our hearts, as he and Jen were married there, surrounded by friends, family and wildflowers 18 years ago; what a beautiful day!
When the snow melted, it was time for cycling. Spinning it out on the road or buffed-out single track, it was all good fun. His excitement and commitment was infectious and inspired many of us to ride. He competed in the early days of racing and then sought the endurance tests later, completing the Ride the Rockies several times. Winters can be long in Summit County, so Jen and Marty escaped to Fruita, Colorado — a cozy house with yellow roses to “Ride Bikes and Eat Pizza.”
Ever the entrepreneur, he began his own business in 2010, serving as “Handyman Hero” to many in this county. He could fix anything. He kept our skis tuned, bikes rolling and our snow lights on. A humble, quiet man, he took pride in his work and taking care of friends.
A true Massachusetts die-hard sports fan, the Patriots, Bruins and Red Sox were near-and-dear to Marty. This was evidenced in the multitude of Pats, B’s and Sox sweatshirts, tees, mugs and stickers that filled his closet, cupboard and the back of his ski boots and truck! He attended World Series Championship games and Opening Day at Fenway, honoring the memories of his mother, Agnes, and father-in-law, Joe. And a special 2010 NHL Winter Classic in Boston with family will be a memory that we will all cherish as we were back outside, enjoying the game we all love!
Marty’s light will continue to shine in each of us, hold us up when we are sad and we will never stop pedaling.
A mass for family and friends will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary Church in Breckenridge. A Celebration of Life will be held at Arapahoe Basin on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.
He leaves behind his loving wife Jennifer, brother Peter Gotantas, mother-in-law Pam Vogel, brother-in-law Jason Vogel (Lisa), niece Angie Gotantas Berkey (Noah), nephew Nathan Gotantas (Sue) daughter Makenzie, and Flis cousins.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Marty Gotantas Memorial Fund for Ski Club Arapahoe — please contact any Alpine Bank at 970-468-4701 or http://www.alpinebank.com — or a charity of your choice in his name.
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