Season's First Colorado Ski Death at Breckenridge: Recalling Kevin Pitts

Update: As we've reported, Longmont's Kevin Pitts died as the result of a skiing accident at Breckenridge on December 19; see our previous coverage below.

Now, Bill Haskins has created a GoFundMe page to help those Kevin left behind.

Pitts "was a good friend to many of us," Haskins writes via e-mail. "He was the family man many of us aspired to be. That family will now celebrate Christmas with a huge hole in their hearts — and his birthday is coming up next week (December 28). Kevin had a good job at Oracle, while his wife is a public elementary school teacher, earning a public school teacher's salary. His oldest daughter, Kiera, is in her second year of college and his son, Jackson, is in high school. All around, this family is looking upwards at a growing financial burden."

Below, see a photo of the Pitts family and the introduction to the page; click to access the Kevin Pitts Family Memorial Fund on GoFundMe. Then continue for our earlier report.

Kevin Pitts left us far too early. He leaves a distinct and deep impression on everyone he touched: he was the parent we hoped to be.. the spouse we wanted to be.. the co-worker we looked for in the halls, at the water cooler, and at each conference. He was a selfless and loving friend, father, and husband.

Kevin's family is equally amazing — his wife, Rebecca, teaches 2nd grade at Central Elementary School in Longmont, Colorado. His eldest daughter, Kiera, is brimming with talent, studying at DePaul University in Chicago. His youngest son, Jackson, is in high school, a talented soccer player, and is looking forward to college in the not-so-distant future.

This fund is meant to honor Kevin's memory and the impact he had on all of us. But more importantly, this fund will help ease the financial burden on Kevin's beautiful family — all proceeds will go directly to Rebecca, Kiera, and Jackson Pitts.

Thank you for your compassion and generosity.

Help spread the word!

Original post, 5:42 a.m. December 21: Kevin Pitts, a 48-year-old Longmont resident who worked in marketing for Oracle, is the first person to die at a Colorado ski area during the 2016-2017 season, which got started late but has turned deadly earlier than the previous one.

Pitts perished after a crash on a black run at Breckenridge on Monday afternoon, December 19. As we've reported, Logan Salviano, the initial fatality of the 2015-2016 season, succumbed in January at Vail. Salviano was one of nine people to die during the season at Colorado ski resorts that we included in a post published on April 28, at the season was winding down. However, a reader recently informed us that we missed paying tribute to another person who lost his life on the slopes in the state: George Nolan, a 69-year-old from Greenwood, South Carolina. The reader notes that Nolan died at around 3 p.m. on March 19 at Telluride; his skis detached from his boots and he slid head first into a tree, sustaining fatal injuries even though he had been wearing a helmet.

Pitts's just-published obituary notes that he "passed away on a beautiful day in the mountains while vacationing with his family," including wife Rebecca Vogel, "the love of his life," and his two kids, ages nineteen and seventeen.

According to the Summit Daily, Pitts hit a tree on Breckenridge's Alpine Alley run, not far from Peak 8's Imperial Express SuperChair, shortly after 1 p.m. Although he, too, was wearing a helmet, he sustained a fatal blunt-force trauma injury. He was pronounced dead at 1:42 p.m. at the Breckenridge Medical Center.

Pitts's LinkedIn profile reveals that this holder of an MBA from Colorado State University had a busy career in the tech world. After gigs at Polycom and Avaya, both located in Westminster, he moved on to Oracle in 2014. There he worked as a director of marketing and served as the public face of the company at industry events.

The image above is from a 2015 video shot at the NENA 2015 Conference & Expo in Denver. There, Pitts demonstrated an Oracle system designed to restart a 911 network crippled by a denial-of-service attack.

Off the job, Pitts lived a vibrant Colorado life. An excerpt from his obituary notes that "Kevin and Rebecca were often found at Red Rocks in summer days discovering new music and reliving the 80's. Kevin's passion was being active in the outdoors — skiing, running and cycling in his free time."

A celebration of Pitts's life is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, at the Howe Mortuary in Longmont. In lieu of flowers, mourners are encouraged to contribute to the Longmont Humane Society, or the OUR Center of Longmont c/o Howe Mortuary. Click for more information.

In the meantime, Breckenridge vice president and COO John Buhler has issued the following statement: "Breckenridge Ski Resort, Breckenridge ski patrol and the entire Vail Resorts family extend our deepest sympathy and support to our guest’s family and friends."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts