Tobias Botkin Lee


Posted: Sunday, April 23, 2006

Former Juneau resident Tobias Botkin Lee, 25, died at 8 a.m. on April 18, 2006, in an avalanche near Mount Baker in Washington state.

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He was born on Jan. 13, 1981, in Juneau.

Through his skiing and adventures, he formed many connections in Western communities, including Park City, Utah, San Francisco, Crested Butte, Colo., Truckee, Calif., and Bellingham, Wash.

"Tobias, friend to all, skied out of this world in powder and with panache," said family members.

According to family members, at 25 years of age, he was at the height of his game. He and his brother Elijah recently participated in the final 2006 World Tour Freeskiing Competition, held in Kirkwood, Calif. Family members said that he was thrilled to not only place 12th, but to also be awarded the much coveted "Sickbird" title, which is awarded to the competitor who skis with the most aggression and style. His family said that although he was never a very aggressive individual off skis, he was known for his bold and outrageous style as well as his compassionate and fun-loving nature.

Family members said, "He was a student of life, skier, bartender, brother, friend, lover, son, artist, carpenter, surfer, traveler, writer and an amazing, amazing person who lived his life in a whirlwind of genuine love."

His family would like to thank everyone for their support in these tough and emotional times.

He is survived by his parents, Melinda Lee and Chris Hafferty and Richard and Chava Lee; and siblings, Nelson, Annabelle, Elijah, Adam, Aurora, Malani and Antonio.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Alvin Rix; grandparents, Pat Rix and Jerry and Stanley Lee, all of Oklahoma City; and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins in the Botkin, Lee, Merrick and Oliphant families.

Private services were held on April 22 in Glacier, Wash., near his brother Elijah's house. There will be a memorial service in Juneau in May. Details will follow.

Memorials in his name may be sent to the Juneau Community Foundation at P.O. Box 34621, Juneau, AK, 99803. Family and friends may view photos of his life and share memories in the online guestbook at

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