David A. Karetsky

Died March 12, 1991

College: Berkeley

Widow: Mrs. Gerri Karetsky
1660 Silverking Drive
Aspen, CO 81611
970-925-5332 (Fax)

Children: Andrew; Bob; Jennifer
Grandchildren: Jake Karetsky; Rachel Karetsky; David Karetsky; David Henry Andres; Margot Lucinda Andres; Jack Joseph Andres

David Karetsky died at age 50 in March of 1991 in an avalanche while helicopter skiing in British Columbia. Karetsky had moved to Aspen in 1985 from New York City taking with him his family, his fax machine and an Apple II computer. He worked happily from a desk overlooking Aspen Highlands mountain managing investments, putting together deals in high tech and health care, skiing in the winter and biking, hiking and enjoying the Aspen Music Festival in the summer.

Karetsky majored in psychology and worked on the “Obedience to Authority” experiment under professor Stanley Milgram. Among his favorite classes were: “Peoples and Problems of the Pacific,” taught by Leopold Pospisil. His academic career seemed secondary to his work under Bob Kiphuth in the pool at Paine Whitney. He swam the butterfly, and his style earned him the nickname “Wave” from his teammates. David Karetsky spoke glowingly of his teammates and of coach Kipphuth.

Karetsky maintained close ties with a number of Yale institutions: including Yale Swimming and DKE. He served as a trustee of Berzelius for a number of years. His son, Bob (’89) and daughter Jennifer (’92) were also members of Berzelius.

As a businessman, Karetsky kept a close watch on what was coming next. He once stated that all fads start in California and move back to the east coast. In the mid-70s Karetsky contemplated buying a skateboard park. He didn’t, but rather left Goldman Sachs and for the next fifteen years managed a series of investments in oil and gas, high tech and healthcare. He invested the IPO of Apple, and tried to buy an Apple I from Mark Markkula. There were only eight of them, and Markkula wasn’t selling. He would have loved the internet, and the new technology of ski gear.

Karetsky’s eldest son, Andy, is a 1988 graduate of Johns Hopkins University and now lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife, Pam and their three children, Jake, Rachel and David Karetsky. Karetsky’s daughter, Jennifer is now Jen Andres and lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Dr. Brett Andres, and their three children, David Henry, Margot Lucinda and Jack Joseph. Karetsky’s son, Bob (named for Bob Kiphuth), is single and lives in New York City.

Karetsky’s widow, Gerri Karetsky lives in Aspen Colorado with her partner, Larry Naughton. Gerri and Larry serve on the board of directors of a number of Aspen-based non-profits. Among them are the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Aspen Writers Conference.

A few years after David’s death, Gerri arranged a gift to the Aspen Music Festival to create free lawn seating in perpetuity immediately outside the festival tent in Dave’s memory. The area around the tent is known as the David Karetsky Lawn, and is often packed on summer Sundays as the Festival’s orchestra performs inside the tent.

Thanks to the generosity of many of David’s classmates, there is a scholarship in his name at Yale College.

Karetsky’s nephew Ethan Karetsky is a member of the class of 2014.

—by Bob Karetsky