Obituary: Robert L. Dey

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Jan. 3, 1928 ~ July 15, 2020

Bob Dey

He was born to parents Don and Dorothy Dey in Estes Park, Colorado, on Jan. 3, 1928. His family moved to Denver when Bob was 7. He attended Wheat Ridge High School and Bob Jones Academy but eventually earned his G.E.D. while in the Navy. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Denver, majoring in international relations and minoring in history, political science, and English. His first teaching assignment from 1958-62 was at Moffat County High School in Craig, Colorado where he taught social studies and English. In the fall of 1962, he moved to a teaching job at the newly opened Rangely College. In 1965, he entered Stanford University where he completed all requirements for the doctorate degree except the siddertation, and 1968, he began service in the administration at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1971, the Dey family returned to Rangely and Rangely College/CNCC where Bob taught history, political science, and speech. During this time, he planned and directed Elderhostels as well as coordinating some 30 conferences and workshops for senior citizens and service providers. The Colorado Commission on Aging honored him in 2004 with the Eleventh Annual Allen Buckingham Senior Legacy Award “for leadership in the field of aging.” Bob’s time in Rangely also included service on the Rangely Town Council. He retired from the college in 1992.

Bob was a jogger, hiker, fisherman, and cross-country skier and spent multiple summers as a park ranger at Dinosaur National Monument. He was also very involved in the church: The First Baptist Church in Rangely, Crossroads Methodist in Grand Junction, and Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver. He witnessed to that faith in 2017 by publishing a collection of his poetry, Quest: Seeking Promise in the Here and After.

Bob was married in 1955 to Kathryn M. “Kay” Kooman, his wife of 48 years whose life was claimed by cancer in 2002. Two daughters were born to them: Carla, an elementary teacher in Grover, Colorado (m. Paul Nussbaum) and Vanda (m. John Alexander), an interior designer living in Denver. A cherished granddaughter, Lauren, is 2nd grade teacher at Frontier Academy in Greeley, Colorado (m. Adam Burnett with daughter, Sophia). Bob was remarried in June 2004, to Linda Wilton and they made their home in Littleton.

Due to COVID restrictions, Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver posted a memorial remembrance on Youtube on Sept. 7, 2020. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Bob’s memory to Doctors Without Borders or the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

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