David Cawlfield

January 1935
August 2023


(From David’s son Scott) David Tripp Cawlfield, born January 11, 1935 in Pueblo, Colorado, was at the time the heaviest child born in Pueblo coming into the world at 11 pounds and 2 ounces to his parents, Peggy and Owen Cawlfield. David lived in Pueblo through his formative years before moving to Lakewood, Colorado where he attended and graduated from Lakewood High School. After graduating from high school, he enlisted with the United States Marine Corps and served as a Communications and Electronic Specialist, decoding foreign intel for the United States Government. In his spare time he enjoyed dancing, attempting a career in acting, and enjoying the Southern California lifestyle of the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s. While serving at USMC Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, he and his wife at the time (Lois, deceased) started their family with 4 children: Andrea, Jonathan (deceased), Kathleen, and Scott. Upon completing service in the Marine Corps, David and family moved back to Colorado where they eventually lived in Glenwood Springs. Following a divorce, David lived with his son Jon in Glenwood Springs. He later met Rita, who would become his wife for close to 50 years. During their time together, David and Rita moved to San Francisco, California where they shared a beautiful life taking full advantage of what the city on the hill had to offer by way of food, art, music, politics, and so much more. They became regulars at local restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, and the lively streets of the city where they couldn’t walk a block without striking up a conversation with a local artist, visitor, or activist. David continued to develop his fishing prowess in the bay area angling for wild salmon, halibut, and the occasional sturgeon.It was plain to see for many years that David resembled Fred Astaire, so much so, that it was a common event for meals to be comped or fine bottles of champagne to be delivered to the table by a restaurant server or manager, thanking [Mr. Astaire] for visiting their establishment. David and Rita got a lot of joy out of these moments and sometimes didn’t have the heart to let the manager or server know that he indeed wasn’t Fred Astaire, but played along joyfully. After retiring, David and Rita moved to Portland, Oregon where they lived for a few years, before ultimately returning to Colorado where they lived near the University of Denver. David Tripp Cawlfield died on Sunday, August 20, 2023. His wife Rita and son Scott were by his side. David is preceded in death by his son Jonathan and his grandson Charlie. He is survived by his wife Rita and his two daughters Andrea (John) and Kathleen, his three stepdaughters Sharon (Jacob), Lee, and Susan (Hal), and his son Scott (Taryn). He is also survived by his 6 grandchildren Tyler, Emily, Emilee, Christopher, Benjamin, and Tyler. As a dad, stepdad, and grandfather, David was a tremendous source of joy and wisdom for all his children.

Friends & Family

(From David’s daughter Kathleen): My dad had an incredible and adventurous life & I can proudly say I am following in his footsteps! In his 88 years, he was an actor, a Communications-Electronics Specialist in the US Marine Corp., a dancer, he had a spirit for travel, he was mistaken often as Fred Astaire, he was a photographer & an avid fisherman! He always took pride in his appearance & never had a hair out of place. I will appreciate his sense of humor & the desire to make holidays important. It was my dad who taught me my first lesson on death when my guinea pig died. It was my dad who instilled in me a passion for fishing. It was my dad who always made it a point of letting me know how special I was. He took his final breath on the morning of Sunday, August 20, 2023, & traded this world to chase big Brown Trout in Paradise! (From David’s daughter Andrea): My favorite memories of my dad are from fun. He loved the holidays! Christmas, Easter, and birthdays were always his favorite. This man loved to dance too. For my first school dance, he taught me how to waltz.....even though no high school kids in the 70s did that! He also taught me that when out with a young man, he better walk on the street side with me, hold every door and chair or I wouldn't see him again. Those rules stayed with me as I raised my own sons. I will also remember his creative side. This man could build anything with his hands. From a sewing room in our home to outfitting a Willy's Jeep to seat all six of us to go fishing. Like his family, fishing was his love. It was his happy place.

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