Obituary: Donald C. Elterman, June 25, 1935 – Dec. 4, 2019
Donald Elterman, a resident of Fruita, Colorado, died at Hope West Hospice Care Center in Grand Junction, Colorado, Dec. 4, 2019. Don was born in Long Beach, California, the son of the late Walter and Eunice (Riley) Elterman of Laguna Beach, California.
Don was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving from 1958 to 1964, at Sandia Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was employed by Pacific Bell Phone Company in Southern California and later transferred to Mountain Bell in Denver as a facilities planner in the Denver Metro area. He retired with 30 years’ service, in 1985. He then went on to work with the town of Vail Police Department, serving over 12 years in various capacities through their Administrative Offices. He also taught skiing part-time in the Beaver Creek Ski School.
Don loved the outdoor life and was a hiker, a bicycler, and a golfer, but his passion was skiing. He was devoted to his children and was in his glory when he could take them skiing, hiking, backpacking, or camping. His greatest pleasure was having his mature-adult children come from distant homes to ski with him in his declining years.
Don was a quiet man and extremely private, not given to small talk and idle chatter, yet was a warm and charming gentleman and remained so even while the devastation of Alzheimer’s-dementia ate away his mind and body. He fought hard to remain vital and active during the last few years of his life and was proud to claim that he would ski beyond the age of 80. He skied for the last time at the age of 82. He lived to achieve his final goal.
Don is survived by his wife of 48 years, Marylin, his sons Douglas Elterman, Kevin Elterman and Mark Elterman, his daughter Karen Polli, and his five grandchildren, Chas, Devin, Alex, Courtney, and Annie.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held later in the spring, at one of his favorite spots in the mountains, when the wildflowers bloom and the gentle winds may kiss the cheeks of his loved ones, a reminder that his spirit lives on along the trails he skied, the roads he bicycled, the paths he hiked, the grounds he camped, and in the fairways and lost ball territories of the golf courses he enjoyed. Don was deeply loved, and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Contributions can be made in Donald’s name to Hope West Hospice, 3090B N 12th St. Grand Junction, CO 81506.