Earl Owen Skiles passed away suddenly Thursday at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver. Earl was born Dec. 22, 1945, in Denver to Joseph Albert Skiles and Eldora Evelyn Skiles. He grew up in Burns, which is where his heart always remained.
Following his graduation from high school he joined the Army as a helicopter mechanic in Vietnam. Earl spent 33 years working as a Denver firefighter. He always considered himself one of the luckiest men in the world to be a fireman. He always said, “It never felt like a job and there never was a day when I dreaded going to work.” His fellow firefighters were always his second family. He always loved his brothers.
Earl enjoyed his retirement years. He always had plenty of things around his Burns home and his grandparents’ 800-acre homestead to keep him busy. He filled some of those days working part-time for Hertz at the Eagle County airport (another “job” he loved). Earl was very interested in politics and doing his civic duty by working as a polling judge on Election Day.
Earl was married to Sandra (Grosjean) on Jan. 5, 1992. His combined family with Sandy was very important to him. His grandkids were his best bragging topic.
Earl is preceded in death by both of his parents and his grandparents. He is survived by his wife, Sandy; children Glen (April) Skiles, Greg Skiles, Charlene (Dave) Rogers and Sam (Amy) Boles; his grandchildren, Caitlyn, Aislinn, Kiley, Makayla, and Nathan Skiles, Michaella and Maggie Rogers, Alec Smith, Samuel, Bailee, Hayden and Westin Boles; his siblings Ed (Wendy) Forrester, Lois Crook, Tom (Alice) Woodrum, Johnnie (Lynn) Pittman and Christie (Ed) Godeski; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Earl will be missed by those of us left behind, but he will be saving us a seat in Heaven.
Services will be held on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Olinger-Highlands Mortuary located at 10201 Grant St. in Thornton. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Retired Firefighters Association of Denver at www.dfdretired.org.