David “Dave” Thomas Toole, 72, of Cañon City, died Sept. 13, 2020.
He was born April 10, 1948, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Thomand Chapman Toole and Alta Lee Toole.
He is a member of the Choctaw Nation.
He graduated from Salida High School in 1966.
After graduation he joined the Rocky Mountain Oysters diving club.
He began his service in the United States Navy Dec. 13, 1967, serving three tours during the Vietnam War.
Mr. Toole joined the Cañon City Fire Department in 1971 before joining the United States Air Force for the remainder of his career.
He retired from the Air Force May 31, 1991, as a senior master sergeant.
Friends and family said Mr. Toole was very proud of his time in the military and spoke fondly of his work and the relationships he developed over the course of his career.
They said his work ethic is exemplified in the words from Eielson Air Force Base Diamond Council: “As a petty officer/2nd class in the Navy or diamond in the Air Force, from the jungles of Vietnam to the last frontier, your dedication, loyalty, professionalism and selflessness will be remembered always.”
Mr. Toole lived all over the world, but he loved the Colorado mountains the most.
He enjoyed taking his Jeep up in the mountains around Salida, discovering new trails, trying to overcome impassable roads, and seeing just how far he could push himself.
He loved fishing and hunting and being able to expose his grandchildren to the wonders of Colorado.
Friends and family said he was a kind man who befriended everyone and was passionate about his country and his two daughters.
Mr. Toole is preceded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his children, Robyn (Jeremiah) Beall of Watkinsville, Georgia and Devin (Matt) Watkins of Carrollton, Georgia; seven grandchildren, Emilie Grace Beall, Madilyn Beall, MaKayla Watkins, Jeremiah David Elijah Beall, Anna Kate Watkins, John Asher Beall and Addison Watkins; sisters, Glenda Rudolph of Clovis, California; a niece and a nephew; Cindy (Joe) Lily of Salida, Colorado; and his brother Mike Lewis of Pinedale, Wyoming.
His family will have a private memorial in the mountains where they will return his body to the place he loved.
Donations in his honor can be made to the Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Healthcare System.
Arrangements were with Cappadona Funeral Home of Colorado Springs.