Yvonne Dowlen has lived quite the life. Born in 1925, Dowlen moved to Denver, CO with her family when she was a young girl. While on a weekend vacation, the family drove to a high mountain lake where Yvonne got her first taste of ice skating. Suffice it to say, she was hooked and has been ice skating ever since.
Yvonne went on to compete professionally in the Ice Capades and coached young skaters for nearly 50 years in her hometown. At 80-years-old, Yvonne was still ice skating whenever she could, but one day she was hit by a speeding van while driving to the rink. She was hospitalized for 10 days with a brain bleed and doctors said she would never skate again…
But they couldn’t have been more wrong. Two months later, she was back on the ice.
Yvonne’s biggest challenge came at 88 when she suffered a minor stroke. Once again by 90 years old, Yvonne was back on the ice.
Katie Stjernholm, the director and producer of the tribute film below, was blessed to spend many long hours with Yvonne during the documentary process. During one of their many memorable conversations, Yvonne said “I hope to go out in my sleep or in my skates.”
Just two days after the film, titled ‘Edges’ was completed, Yvonne passed away painlessly and instantly from an aortic aneurysm, “She died, as she lived, on the ice. Skating was her lifelong passion and she spent her last day doing what she loved,” Katie said.
She went on, “Yvonne modeled for me that committing to what, and who you love (every day), accumulates into a life well lived. Getting to know her and capturing her story has been one of my greatest gifts. It was an honor to know such an inspiring woman.”
What a wonderful tribute to this inspiring woman. Staying active and living with passion truly does carry you through life. Check out the amazing mini-documentary in the video below.
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