Earle Murphy (1927 – 2014)

Our sport has lost a long time competitor, great supporter and a dear friend. Earle Murphy died on August 15 at age 87. Earle jumped for at least 50 years and supported the sport in many ways. In 1990, he co-founded the International Masters Championships.

We will post more details as we get them.

Bill Chenard of Rumford (1956 – 2012)

Provided by Dan “Mouse” Warner

Bill Chenard was a good Nordic Combined skier who grew up in Rumford, Maine. Bill was Jr National NC champion in 1972, New England High School Champion 1973, many times High School Champion in Maine in XC, great all around skier!

After high school, Bill spent a short time on the US NC Ski Team and then returned to New Hampshire to build the XC courses at the Balsams in upper NH. He then moved to Sugarloaf and developed the trail system at Carrabasset Valley Touring Center in Maine. Bill also worked as a 911 operator at Sugarloaf for many years and was the food service manager at UM Farmington until he passed. Married and a father of two, Bill had a cross country trail that wound around his property in Salem ME.

In Bill’s honor the Mt. Abram High School Opener, one of the biggest XC races in ME, will be named after Bill for his long time dedication to XC skiing in the Sugarloaf area. Anyone wishing to make a donation in Bill’s memory can send it to the Chisholm Ski Club, PO Box 616, Rumford Me 04276

Bill Appleyard of Salisbury (1933-2012)

We have received the sad news of the death on Feb 11, 2012, of long time Salisbury supporter Bill Appleyard.

Bill had retired a few years ago from his position as chief publicity man for SWSA and had recently moved to Chatham Mass on Cape Cod where he could fish, watch birds, and do other things he had always loved. Bill’s obituary says that he had been a SWSA member and volunteer for 35 years, and we know that for many of those years, he was the one who got out the press releases that led to articles in the Hartford Courant and other newspapers, which brought the people into the gate on the second weekend in February, year after year. Bill was a refined gentleman, warm and outgoing, always with a smile to give or lend. He came to be a great friend to many who came through Salisbury one weekend every year.

His obituary can be read here: William E. Appleyard

Phil Dunham (1923 – 2011)

Phil Dunham

Phil Dunham

We have received the sad news of the death on Nov 10, 2011, of long time jumper and honored Brattleboro VT resident, Phil Dunham.

Born July 5, 1923, Phil did his best jumping in the Veterans Class (age 32 and up), winning the Eastern Vets crown 9 times and becoming National Champion in 1961. Phil competed until age 60 and continued to take a few jumps on the small hill in Memorial Park well after that. He was inducted into the Masters Ski Jumpers Hall of Fame in 1990.

Phil was a public spirited citizen, serving several terms as president of the Brattleboro Outing Club. In addition, he involved himself in many other community service activities.

Read Phil’s Obituary or read a longer memorial article, both in the Brattleboro Reformer.

Carolyn Decker (1947 – 2011)

Carolyn Decker died on the morning of September 5, 2011 after a battle with a rare cancer.

Carolyn was the mother of ski jumper Chris Decker and when Chris committed to ski jumping, the family moved from New Jersey to the North Country, where Carolyn quietly did many things in support of the sport. In anticipation of the 2002 Olympics, the Deckers established a home in Park City where for several years after the games, they generously welcomed Eastern jumpers training or competing at the Olympic facility.

Larry Stone, Eastern Coach during the Decker years, emphasizes how generous Carolyn and husband Bill were to our ski jumping program and how Carolyn, like Marianne Fairall, imbued all of us with her positive and cheerful attitude towards life and sport. She carried this amazing spirit right through to the end and kept smiling right through the struggle with her illness. Their generosity gave the Eastern teams of those years a base of operations in Park City which was a great advantage for us and allowed parents and ski jumpers a little leeway in a sport which can cost a great deal to pursue on a national level.

Condolences can be sent to The William Decker family, 24 Nordic Way, Saranac Lake , NY 12983. Friends wishing to remember Carolyn may make memorial contributions to Ocular Melanoma Foundation in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home. 20 Church Street, Saranac Lake, NY, 12983.

There will be a celebration of her life Saturday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Lake Placid Lodge. All are welcome.

David Edlund Dies Suddenly in St Paul (1960 – 2011)

We have received the shocking news of the sudden, unexpected death on July 18, 2011 of Dave Edlund, jumper, father of three jumpers, coach and supporter of the sport.

Born July 6, 1960, Dave continued his jumping well into Masters age, competing in two International Masters Championships (IMC) and several National Masters Age Group Championships. He finally quit his own jumping to support his son Davey who developed into a fine ski jumper. Two more talented sons followed in the sport.

Oddvar Ask (1925 – 2010)

Old time Nordic Combined skier Oddvar Ask (Odin Ski Club) passed away on Saturday, April 10, 2010, at age 84.

Born in Norway on August 22, 1925, Oddvar came to the U.S. in the early sixties and skied with us at Bear Mountain, Salisbury, Rumford, Lake Placid, Old Forge, Brattleboro, Berlin etc. He was a kind, mild mannered gentleman and a friend to all. He was pre-deceased by his wife Inge in 2008, and is survived by three daughters (Lilian, Ann-Karina and Margaret). No further information is available at this time.

Stanley C. DuRose, Jr. (1923 – 2010)

Stan DuRose

Stan DuRose

Stanley C. DuRose Jr, age 86, passed away at the Hospice Care Center in Fitchburg, WI on Sunday, March 21, 2010.

Stanley was born on October 26, 1923, in Joliet, Montana, to Stanley Sr. and Wilhelmena (Zwicky) DuRose. He and his family moved to Madison in 1926. Stanley was employed by the Wisconsin Department of Insurance and held various positions. In 1948 to 1965, he was Deputy Commissioner of Insurance and in 1965 to 1969, he was appointed Commissioner of Insurance. He was also employed as a Senior Vice President for CUNA Mutual Insurance Society from 1970 to 1988. He was a member of the Casualty Actuarial Society and the American Academy of Actuaries. He will be remembered especially for his volunteer work at the Blackhawk Ski Club in Middleton, helping build ski jumps and down hill slopes so that children could learn these sports and enjoy them just as he had for many years.

Stanley is survived by his wife, Lorraine, and many relatives, especially nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his twin brother, George DuRose.Graveside services were held at Oak Hill Cemetery in Waterloo. Memorial donations may be made to the Blackhawk Ski Club, P.O. Box 628094, Middleton, WI 53562-8094 or a charity of your choice.

An era has ended with the passing of Stan DuRose who contributed so much to the sport of ski jumping. Stan’s home base was Madison Wisconsin and the Blackhawk Ski Club, but his influence spread over the mid-west and indeed the entire U.S.

Stan made his living in the insurance field, but he trained as an engineer. His training and his inclination made him a natural to design ski jumps, both the flight profiles and the structures, and Stan did that job for decades, becoming the Chairman of the USSA Committee on Ski Jump Design. He designed ski jumps all over the Central Division and scattered around the country, including the Westby big hill and the Olympic jump in Squaw Valley.

A long-time bachelor, Stan lived at home well into middle age but also took his share of road trips. He was a regular at Central and USSA conventions, where he was never shy to offer his opinions, even unpopular opinions. But when the smoke cleared, even people who argued with Stan went away respecting him.

However, Stan’s greatest impact was at home, at the ski jumping complex of the Blackhawk Ski Club at Tomahawk Ridge west of Middleton. Stan’s official title of Ski Club Secretary didn’t even hint at the breadth of his contributions to his club. Each fall in the early years, Stan would organize periodic Club meetings, more pep rallies than organizational sessions, always kicked off with a ski movie, and ending perhaps with plans for a work party out at the jumps.

Stan directs ex-jumper Wade Cattel who brought out his own bulldozer and back hoe to excavate the new landing of the current 30 meter hill.

Stan directs ex-jumper Wade Cattel who brought out his own bulldozer and back hoe to excavate the new landing of the current 30 meter hill.

Work party or not, Stan was a regular on weekends at Tomahawk Ridge. He always planned and directed the large projects, but at slow times, he might show up at the hill for a half day to clean up or perform modest tasks alone or with one or two assistants. He spent so much time out there that one might have thought that he was married to the hill.

In the first few years after WW-II, when the Hoyt Park 20 meter jump was new, Stan took charge of setting the takeoffs. The scaffold was wide enough for two tracks, one with a higher takeoff for skilled jumpers, the other with a lower, longer takeoff for beginners. And Stan was often the first one to show up after supper, turning on the lights and making sure that everything was set. Then he would stay around to coach the jumpers and perhaps to rake the landing before the lights went out.

He didn’t often take any rides himself. Stan was a strong alpine skier and he was good at cross country, but frankly he wasn’t much of a ski jumper. But, he loved the sport and put his life into it. For the second half of the twentieth century, he was the backbone of the Blackhawk Ski Club. On any weekend summer day in the 1970s or ’80s, you could drop by the hill and have a good chance of finding Stan out there. You’d likely find him working alone, dressed in coveralls, a big wrench in his hand, laboring over a pump or compressor for the snow-making system.

Stan was a hands on kind of guy who favored low-tech solutions. Why hire a bulldozer if a few hours of shoveling would do the job? … or a few days? … or weeks? (His helpers didn’t always agree!) When a new ski jump tower was going up, he would rig a block and tackle with a one inch rope, pulled by a tractor, or even by a car, and up went a big telephone pole, or even a two-pole framework. But the system worked and no pole ever came crashing back down.

Stan also had a sense of history, and he would snap pictures to document projects and improvements at the ski hill. One storage space in his basement is packed with an extensive collection of Ski Club materials: pictures, documents and records, posters and programs from a half-century of competitions.

Stan was the competition director for the annual Blackhawk ski jumping tournaments, doing the registration, creating the start lists, and issuing the jumper’s numbers. On other weekends, he might drive to another event, perhaps in Westby or even as far as Iron Mountain (left) just as an interested spectator. One year he even served as the P.A. announcer at a competition hosted by the Thunderbird Ski Club out of Milwaukee.

When the club purchased the ski jump property in 1947, the only trees were on the steep hillside. The area behind the tower was so flat and wide open that at a tournament in the late 1940s, one competitor arrived in a private airplane, landing in the pasture behind the tower. At half time, he took off again, then circled around and dropped a memorial wreath on the landing hill, before landing again to take his final jump. Each spring Stan ordered hundreds of baby pine trees which teams of young ski jumpers planted on various parts of the old pastures and hay fields behind the tower until today the whole area a pine forest, right out to the road.

Leaning over the fence at the big hill in Iron Mt. Mich. Stan chats with Blackhawk jumpers Russ Gessler (left) and Jack Statz (in goggles) during the 1955 Olympic trials.

Leaning over the fence at the big hill in Iron Mt. Mich. Stan chats with Blackhawk jumpers Russ Gessler (left) and Jack Statz (in goggles) during the 1955 Olympic trials.

The standard wisdom was not to mix alpine skiing with ski jumping in one club or at one area, but Stan always wanted to develop some alpine slopes at Tomahawk Ridge and in time he did. These have prospered, but somehow it appears that the Club has struck a balance between the alpine and jumping interests, with some cross country skiing and summer mountain biking thrown in round out the offerings.

Stan was well into his middle years when he developed a parcel of real estate in Madison below Hoyt Park, land that had been his father’s stone quarry. He held onto one choice lot where he built a home for himself, doing much of the work with his own hands. And he surprised many of his friends when he finally married. He described his new wife, Lorraine, as a lady at work whom he had known for years.

Stan didn’t do it all by himself. Indeed at boom times, he might hardly have been noticed in the crowd. And he was not one to draw attention to himself. But during the lean times, he was the prime mover, the driving force that kept the club vital and kept its facility up and running. There is a good chance that without Stan DuRose, the Blackhawk Ski Club might have folded years ago, and for sure, it would not be that same club without him. Thanks Stan.

William R. (Bill) Avison (1923 – 2008)

William Raymond Avison, 85, of Bondville, a native of Greenfield, Mass., died Friday, November 28, 2008 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. A memorial service was held on Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church in Londonderry.

A long time jumper / judge and supporter of ski jumping has taken his last jump! Bill served in the 10th Mountain Division during WWII with Torger Tokle. His nickname “Weasel” came from the fact that he was the driver of a tracked military vehicle called the Weasel. He was one of my dad’s best friends and over the years spent many times with our family. – Art Tokle, Jr.