Ian Francis Fair

Ian Francis Fair of Winthrop, Washington, age 36, died Sunday, March 4, 2018, in an avalanche while skiing with his partner, Steph Bennett, and friends in the North Cascades Mountains.

Ian was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, where he resided until 2000 when he moved west to attend the University of Washington. He obtained bachelor and master’s degrees in environmental education and began a career that took him all over the Pacific Northwest working at North Cascades National Park (Stehekin), the Methow Valley Community School, Liberty Bell High School, Teton Science School, the North Cascades Institute, the Wenatchee River Institute, the Bush School Methow Campus, and a host of other odd jobs in the Methow Valley.

Ian loved the Northwest for its beauty, wilderness and people. His passion for the outdoors began in the east but blossomed in Washington, where he focused on educating future generations on the values of understanding and protecting the landscape while simultaneously promoting all the adventures and challenges it offered. Ian and Steph fully embraced the Northwest experience, returning to Winthrop in 2017 to put down permanent roots as a family in the Methow Valley, reconnecting with friendships from years of travel in the Pacific Northwest.

Ian’s departure leaves a huge void within his extended family, the Methow community and the large collection of friends he accumulated over the years. Left behind are his partner, Steph Bennett, and their two dogs, Riddick and Obi, his mother Susan Halstead, his father and stepmother, Robert Fair and Sandra Meyer, as well as a large extended family scattered across the United States.

The sudden and tragic end to Ian’s life leaves us all deeply saddened with broken hearts that will never fully heal. We can still take comfort in the reality that he lived his life to the fullest, making, experiencing and encouraging adventures every day of his life. Ian, we will always all love you.

A memorial service for Ian will not be held, but we ask instead that we celebrate him in our own lives every single day. Donations can be made in Ian’s name to the Bush School, Ian Fair Fund for the Methow, which supports the integration of wilderness, cultural and immersive experiential learning for students of The Bush School and the Methow Valley. Donations can be made online at www.bush.edu/page/giving/give-to-bush.