Monika Roether Brown

August 29, 1930December 9, 2021
Obituary of Monika Roether Brown
Monika Roether Brown, 91, passed away peacefully on December 9, 2021, surrounded by friends and family in Boulder, Colorado. Monika was born in Halle (Salle) Germany on August 29, 1930, to parents Johannes and Sabine (Maria Agnes Kapal) Roether. Near the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Johannes, a medical doctor, died in an automobile accident. Sabine continued to raise her three children in the Silesian Mountain resort of Krummhubel (now Karpacz, Poland). Monika was the eldest, followed by her younger sister Barbara and baby brother Immo. In 1945 the invading Russian army advanced through Eastern Germany, and Sabine fled with Monika and her siblings in the hope of reaching the “American side” in the west. They only made it as far as Leipzig in before the Russian Army overtook them. Fortunately, the Russian officer class commandeered the home where the Roether’s were sheltering. They spent over a year in Leipzig. Eventually, Sabine arranged for her children to flee across the border to the West. Under the cover of night, a teenage Monika led her younger siblings to safety. A few weeks later Sabine also made the journey, and the family were reunited in Munich. As refugees, the Roether family had to conceal their East German origins and sheltered with other families in the film studios that once belonged to Leni Riefenstahl. Though it was a time of hardship, Monika recalls those as some of the best years of her life. She described a community of refugees that looked after each other and solved problems together. They didn’t need money when they had each other. Young Monika’s natural beauty caught the eye of the fashion industry in Bavaria, and soon she became internationally known. She became the face of the fashion house Bogner and counted royalty and famous sportsmen and even American first ladies as her friends. She married Albrecht Shultze-lidl, but Monika wanted to start a family, and Albrecht did not. The couple split, though they remained lifelong friends. After her divorce in the early 1960’s Monika needed a change of scene and emigrated to Taos Ski Valley in America. It was while starring in a promotional film for Taos—appropriately titled “A New Mexico Ski Affair” that Monika met filmmaker Roger Brown. Monika followed Roger to join him in the then brand-new ski resort of Vail. Monika and Roger married and started a family on Forest Road, and Monika became the stepmother to Roger’s sons Michael and Gordon. In 1968 Monika gave birth to her son Nicolas. In the late 1970’s the family moved to Gypsum. In 1986 Roger and Monika split and Monika moved back to Vail. She began a new career in the art world, first with the Driscoll and later with the Knox Gallery. Monika was responsible for bringing many heroic sculptures to the Vail Valley, including the Children’s fountain and other prominent sculptures still visible in Avon and Beaver Creek. Monika always loved skiing and cross country in winter, and in summer, she could be found hiking around East Vail and on the bike path. She loved nothing more than to be outdoors and enjoy the alpine flora and fauna. She picked mushrooms from secret locations that she has never disclosed to anyone. Monika also took the opportunity to travel, making several trips to South America, the Middle East and around the Mediterranean. She began to learn Spanish and devoured information about the great archaeological wonders. In 2015, medical issues forced Monika to leave her beloved mountains for the last time. Once again, a refugee, Monika swiftly made friends in her care homes, first in Sunrise of Boulder, and later in Balfour Cherrywood. Despite losing her memory to Alzheimer’s she still made new friends whom she loved dearly, and who loved her in return. In her final hours she was surrounded by the love of family and friends, which is the most anyone could ask for. Her loving memory lives on in our hearts.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Memorial Service

Tuesday, December 21, 2021