David Wright Eskelson was born Feb. 10, 1928, in Devil’s Slide, Utah. He died Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo.
It was said David had nine lives; in reality, he had at least 15 lives and lived them all with courage and grace despite multiple injuries and illnesses from 1990 to date.
He was an active and faithful member of Holy Family Catholic Parish for 36 years.
David is survived by: six children, Eileen Roberts (Galen), David Lon Eskelson (Lauri), Kathie Talkington (Charlie), Elise (Lisa) Eskelson (Cathy Gray), Julie Eskelson (William Hansen); and Jeffrey Eskelson (Kristen). He is also survived by Mildred Sparks, Bette Eskelson, and his wife of 42 years, Judy Eskelson; 17 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and all siblings, sister Thelma Dorius and brothers Elmo Ross and Ralph Eskelson.
Dr. Eskelson moved to Meeker in 1963 to open a private general medical practice, including general surgery, obstetrics, emergency and ambulatory care. David shared health care provisions with Dr. Earl Ryan for his first 15 years in Meeker; then various other physicians, including Dr. Albert Krueger for 2 ½ years before David’s retirement from active medical practice in 1991.
He invested in the lives of friends and patients and community in many roles outside of medicine such as Rio Blanco County planning commission, Lions Club…etc.).
David continued as Rio Blanco County coroner until age 78; a position he held from 1966-2007.
Prior to his life life in Meeker, David graduated medical school from the University of Utah School of Medicine on Dec. 22, 1952, at 24 years of age. He did so while working full time as an anesthetist and supporting a family.
He completed a rotating internship in the United States Navy; attended the school of aviation medicine in Pensacola, Fla., during his Navy years; served as medical officer mat the U.S. Naval Air Station at Whidbey Island, Wash., as chief medical officer at Cubi Point U.S. Naval Air Station in the Philippine Islands. He continued in U.S. Naval Reserve until 1955.
He held medical licensure in California, Wyoming, Arizona and Colorado. After separation from the Navy, David had a medical practice in Sacramento, Calif., for seven years, and he used those years to prepare for practice in a rural setting, with particular focus on obstetrical and surgical skills.