in memoriam: Slim Weston

By Jim Stanford on February 12, 2014

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Leon “Slim” Weston

Leon “Slim” Weston, the iconic cowboy lifty who greeted skiers at Grand Targhee for 45 winters, died last night after a battle with cancer. He was 72 years old.

Weston’s smile, cowboy hat and long, lean frame were a fixture at Targhee since the resort’s inception in 1969. He appeared in Warren Miller films and a host of ski magazines, gaining as much of a reputation as the resort’s fresh powder. A snowboarder, he was known to give out hugs and back rubs in the lift lines.

“He is the spirit of Grand Targhee and is greatly missed,” resort spokesman Ken Rider said. “A bunch of heavy hearts over here today.”

Weston was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011 and had been fighting an ongoing battle. Still, he worked three days at the resort last week.

“Whatever he wanted to work, we’d let him work,” Rider said.

Weston was a farmer and rancher who lived outside Driggs. He got his nickname after riding up on his horse at the beginning of a Miller ski movie, and the filmmaker called him “Ol’ Slim.”

Rider said the resort is deferring to Weston’s family on plans for a memorial service. More information will be posted as soon as it is available.

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Posted under Deaths, Ski Resorts, Sports

8 Comments so far

  1. tim skauge February 12, 2014 1:53 pm

    so sorry to hear that I live in mn. an just saw him last week only have known him for the last twenty years. my heart goes out to the family and close friends

  2. Peter Hurden February 12, 2014 2:27 pm

    Was Great while it lasted!

  3. karey February 12, 2014 3:42 pm

    he really was such a cheerful guy. i saw him last wk & he was still smiling. i think he made us all feel so welcome & always remembered me–which was surprising considering how many years & how many faces he saw! & yes i remember those quick back rubs & hugs. Slim will definitely be missed!

  4. Doug Page February 12, 2014 4:11 pm

    So Long Slim. I saw him at the hill 2 weeks ago still smiling still be Slim.

  5. Tater February 12, 2014 4:40 pm

    Your smile always brightened the lift line, and your hay was some of the best in the valley. RIP Leon

  6. Pete February 12, 2014 8:28 pm

    I started skiing at Targhee 35 years ago, Slim and Targhee went hand in hand. He will be greatly missed!

  7. rhino February 18, 2014 3:49 pm
  8. Jim Stanford February 22, 2014 10:51 am

    Targhee is holding a memorial ski and torchlight parade today. Here is the press release from the resort:

    Leon “Slim” Weston was a friend to all. His genuine smile and big hugs touched many people in a way that warmed the soul … even on the coldest of days. Slim embodied the spirit of Grand Targhee and his friendliness made everyone’s day at Targhee a special and memorable one. He will be deeply missed and forever loved. Slim will always be a part of us and his spirit will live on at Grand Targhee Resort.

    This Saturday, February 22, 2014, Grand Targhee Resort is Celebrating the Life of Slim with a last ride and torchlight parade. Please gather in the Targhee Plaza at 4:30 p.m. and be ready to load Dreamcatcher by 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to take a Guided Memorial Ski Run down Slim’s Shot which will be immediately followed by a Memorial Torchlight Parade held by Grand Targhee Resort Staff. The Last Run and Torchlight Parade will end in the Targhee Main Plaza where there will be a celebration and toast to Slim, complete with beer and wine. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go directly to the Weston family. Additionally, throughout the week, there will be donation boxes located at the Activity Center and at the base of the Dreamcatcher lift, with all proceeds going directly to the Weston family.

    With open arms and an open heart, we ask for you to join us in the Celebration of Leon “Slim” Weston.

    Thank you,
    The Grand Targhee Resort Team

    Here’s a nice video from the celebration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqQl_5SGgcY&list=UUmHm4EHNxvlsGaD1Sd8cOsw

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