Deborah ‘Deb’ Kanter

Deborah “Deb” Kanter, 65, died Nov. 19, 2019, in Crestone.

She was born March 5, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, the eldest of three children.

Growing up in suburban Highland Park, she swam in Lake Michigan, took riding lessons, canoed in northern Minnesota and learned to ski.

After graduating second in her high school class of 500, she attended the University of Pennsylvania before leaving Philadelphia to move to Colorado, where she made jewelry, cooked for a hunting camp and camped and hiked extensively.

She lived in Salida in her 20s, where she was married and began a long career as a ski instructor that included teaching at Taos Ski Valley and later Jackson Hole.

She also pursued a bachelor’s degree in directed interdisciplinary studies, with a focus on hydrology, from Montana State University in Bozeman.

After receiving her degree in 2002, she worked for the U.S. Forest Service at Pecos National Forest in New Mexico and in Jackson, Wyoming.

Family and friends said she was known as a talented craniosacral practitioner, an avid Western swing dancer and a student of Navajo culture. Constants in her life were hiking and camping in some of the most spectacular places in the Rockies and her Buddhist practice.

She studied extensively with numerous Buddhist teachers, attending advanced practice intensives to deepen her meditation practice.

At her death, she was attended by several of those teachers.

Survivors include her brother and sister, Michael and Julie Kanter of California; brother-in-law, Gary Scherer; nephew, Jasper Scherer; and many other loved ones in Salida, Taos, Crestone and other parts of the West.

In honor of her dedication to her Buddhist practice and her service to the broader Buddhist community, memorial donations may be made to the Pundarika Foundation at or mailed to P.O. Box 57, Crestone, CO 81131.

Crestone End-of-Life Project was in charge of the arrangements.

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