in memoriam: Elizabeth McCabe

By Jim Stanford on June 26, 2012

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Liz McCabe points an ATV downhill from the Barker-Ewing camp following the 2007 Legends of the Snake event, when she was a spry 96 years old.

Despite her age and recent illness, it was sad to hear Friday of the passing of News&Guide co-publisher Elizabeth McCabe. One hoped that against all odds she would continue to buck infirmity and make it back onto the Snake River for one last fly fishing trip.

Diminutive in size, McCabe, 101, was a giant in the publishing business, a shutter-clicking bon vivant whose life was a testament to the virtues of drinking red wine and floating the river for longevity. Even in death she led by example, as the News&Guide announced in today’s Daily that per her wishes there would be no memorial service.

It was hard not to admire her spirit and generosity. I worked for Liz for three years at the paper and marveled when, as a nonagenarian, she continued to take newsworthy images like last week’s shot of a jet thundering over mule deer, from 2010. She used to buy champion steers and pigs from the Teton County Fair to support 4-H, then shared the meat with the newspaper staff.

A few years ago, during a surprisingly cold July day, I was guiding a float trip in Grand Teton park when we came across a drift boat rowed by Tom Montgomery. In the front sat Liz, swaddled in blankets and a fly rod in hand. I pointed her out to the tourists; it was the most enjoyable sighting of the day. Even last summer she fished the Snake just weeks after falling and breaking several ribs.

Tomorrow’s News&Guide no doubt will have a full remembrance. I’ll raise my next glass of wine to Liz; if I am floating the Snake and still shooting photos at three-quarters her age, I will have lived a full life.

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Posted under Deaths, Sports

2 Comments so far

  1. Margaret June 29, 2012 11:43 am

    a lovely tribute Jim.

  2. James Peck June 29, 2012 6:33 pm

    Liz was a fantastic woman who occupied an unique space in Jackson Hole with real grace. We’ll miss her.

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