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Dan’s life story was a tale of overcoming obstacles and adversities. His headstrong “let’s do it” attitude helped him to enjoy many activities and friendships that might have been missed. He started life in the CO Springs area where he was left in the care of the foster care system as a toddler. After being sent to the Grand Junction State Home and Training School he learned many life lessons. He worked on the farm, in the cafeteria, and as a janitor for many years.
Because of his strength and independent nature, he was one of the first individuals to be deinstitutionalized. In the community he thrived making friends in all of his preferred activities such as bowling, JUCO, work, and shopping at his favorite stores.
In 1991 he married the love of his life, Ella Parker, and quickly became the iconic couple that walked around town to get groceries in the little red wagon, participate in several bowling leagues throughout the week, and was good for several country western songs at Karaoke on Saturday Nights.
One of the most impressive things about Dan was his memory and math skills. He was able to remember JUCO Championship participants and final scores all the way back to the second year of the tournament. He was also able to add and subtract in his head finding the answer before most people found the answer on paper. He was funny, sarcastic, and very routine oriented.
After a fall while at a community job started his decline in health he still had the strength and perseverance to keep living independently. He was able for years to exercise with staff help and live as independent as possible with supports.
He will be greatly missed by his wife and friends. In his memory we will all be aware of how day to day activities can touch many lives and leave a legacy of perseverance and acceptance.
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