1935 Neil 2023

Neil K. Muncaster

April 26, 1935 — November 11, 2023



Neil Kibbe Muncaster of Victor, Idaho, died peacefully at his home surrounded by family and his dogs on November 11, 2023. He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 50 years, Ann Muncaster. He was 88. Neil and Ann grew up in the same neighborhood in Winchester, MA, and eventually became high-school sweethearts. Despite spending more energy playing for Harvard’s basketball and track teams than studying in the library, he graduated from Harvard University in 1958. He went on to get a Master's Degree in Mining Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1960. He retired as the V.P. of Kinross Gold Corporation/Colorado/Canada.


To pay for his Harvard tuition, Neil and his brothers, David and Craig, hitchhiked across the country twice to seek work in the gritty Alaska mining camps. Neil, Ann, and their baby daughter left the East Coast for good when they moved to Colorado, where Neil worked as a geologist at the Climax molybdenum mine near Leadville in 1962. He fondly remembers skiing on the mine’s private ski hill, the bowling alley, and the small school where Ann taught. Later they lived in Frisco, CO, where he built his first home independently (with a bit of help from burley friends) from a kit. In 1968 he and Ann moved to the more civilized Evergreen, CO, where they spent the next two decades raising their four children, Althea, Susan, Pamela, and Brian.


Throughout Neil’s career, he traveled all over the Western US, Canada, and Alaska, as well as Mexico, South, and Central America hunting for gold, silver, and other precious metals. These grand adventures fueled his love for the mountains, the west, exploration, skiing, hiking, hunting, and fishing – passions he passed down through the generations and shared with many friends of his family. Ann and Neil were fortunate to capitalize on an opportunity to build a house in 1970, the early days of the Vail Valley. The “Vail House” became a place for many memorable family get-togethers and a base for ever-more adventurous outdoor escapades.  Neil and Ann eventually retired there in 1997. 


After the passing of Ann, Neil moved to Jackson, WY, and eventually Victor, ID, to be closer to his youngest grandchildren and daughters, Sue and Pam. He spent his final days reading spy novels, working crossword puzzles, watching his beloved Denver Nuggets, Avalanche, and Broncos, catching voles, golfing, playing cribbage, and watching the glorious sunsets over Pine Creek Pass. He is survived by two siblings, Judy and Craig, his four children, 10 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and one more on the way. His ashes will be scattered somewhere in the mountains he loved. Donations in his name to the Teton Valley Hospital Foundation or Leadville Mining Museum would be appreciated. 

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