David Bolton

David Warren Bolton

Tuesday, April 25th, 1939 - Monday, February 10th, 2020
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David Bolton, 80, of Longmont, passed away on February 10 at Berthoud Living Center after an extended period of illness.

David was born in 1939 in Boulder, the son of Francis and Irene (Allen) Bolton. A fourth-generation Coloradoan, he attended schools in Boulder and Longmont, graduating from Longmont High School in 1957. Growing up, he spent many summers in Grand Lake, where his father was a seasonal ranger/naturalist in Rocky Mountain National Park. Later, David worked in the summers for the US Forest Service as a trail crew boss in the Rawah Wilderness Area. He graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a B.A. in music education and an M.A. in flute performance. It was at CU that he met his future wife Susanna (Sue), and the two were married in 1964. They settled in Longmont and David taught instrumental music in Loveland’s Thompson Valley School District for 30 years.

His passion for bird study took him all over Colorado, across the West and farther afield to states including Alaska, Hawaii and Maine. He loved fishing, hunting and the outdoors. His knowledge of wildlife and plants was extraordinary. He loved most his family, music, food, books, words, limericks and puns (not necessarily in that order). He was not an “easy” person to know or get to know, but those who made the effort were rewarded with loyalty, generosity and his sly sense of humor, which never failed even after countless surgeries, hospitalizations and illnesses.

David spent the last years of his life at numerous hospitals and care facilities along the Front Range, including Applewood Rehabilitation of Longmont, the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Sierra Vista and Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Longmont United Hospital, Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital of Johnstown, and Kindred Hospital in Denver. Though it is impossible to name all of the staff who assisted him, the family wishes to thank each and every caregiver who made his journey easier.

His final stay was at Berthoud Living Center, where he came to be known as “Papa Bear” and was cared for by a remarkable (and incredibly patient) team of nursing staff, including his favorites: Demetria, Carmen, Jesse, Janet, Lauren, Tianna, Serena, Kaylena, Kyle, Diana and Becky. He was also assisted in his last days by a wonderful team from Suncrest Hospice.

David is survived by his wife, Sue, of 55 years; his daughter Natalie and her partner, Jon; first cousins Linda, Susan, Mike, Jim, Larry, Judy and Sylvia; his aunt, Darlene; and many relatives and friends. A celebration of David’s life will be held on Friday, May 15 at 11:00 am at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel in Longmont.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to The Nature Conservancy, the College of Music at CU Boulder, Ducks Unlimited or the Foothills Audubon Club. Share condolences at
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, May 15th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Friday, May 15th, 2020 11:00am
    Ahlberg Funeral Chapel
    326 Terry St.
    LONGMONT, CO 80501
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
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Vicky Shields

Posted at 10:21am
Sue and Nat, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Yours has been a long and difficult journey. Memories of Dave revolved around his knowledge, story telling and dry sense of humor. Bill considered Dave to be one of his closest friends. They had many great years as teaching partners. Unfortunately due to both of them having health issues they were not able to be there for one another at the end of their life journeys. I am certain they have been reunited again and are sharing stories again. Vicky Shields

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