Small Town News

Obituary

Dr. Jeffrey R. Waggoner

Kiowa County Press of Eads, Colorado

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May 4, 1946 — Oct 28, 2015

Funeral services were held on Monday November 2, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the Praise Community Church in Eads. Burial followed in the Eads Cemetery.

Dr. Waggoner was a beloved medical doctor that served patients all over Colorado and most recently as the Chief of Staff at Weisbrod Memorial Hospital in Eads.

Three days before being set free from a body ravaged by the effects of pancreatic cancer, Jeffrey Robert "Doc" Waggoner was being tended to by a hospice nurse in his room at Weisbrod Hospital in Eads, CO.

"Well, Cindy," he said, "I think I'm in trouble." She responded, saying that it certainly looked like he was a well-loved man who had lived a good life. Jeff looked at her, smiled and, in a voice so weak it was barely audible, said, "No one could have had a better one."

Such was Dr. Jeffrey Waggoner's approach to living.

Born in 1946 in Yankton, South Dakota to Robert, a career politician from Illinois, and Beverly, a small town girl from the Dakota cornfields, Jeff's childhood years were spent in a variety of towns, cities and states. (Moving boxes never ceased to make him nauseous.) now fifteen years old and thirteen schools later, Jeff's family finally settled down in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

No longer the perpetual new kid, Jeff grew into himself. The young high school quarterback became a Princeton scholarship student; the Princeton student became a University of Colorado Medical School student; the med school student became a family practitioner and founding partner in one of the largest family practices in Aurora. Not bad for a kid born in Yankton. Not bad, at all.

So life continued until, at the age of 61, Jeff — in a blinding blizzard, no less — found himself turning off of I-70 on to east-bound Hwy 287. Denver disappeared in his rear view window; the high plains of Colorado stretched before him (as much as the blizzard would allow) and the man who valued roots more than anything had uprooted himself to begin a new life as the only doctor in Kiowa County and the he west resident of a 700-person town named Eads.

Neither Jeff nor Eads nor Kiowa County were ever the same.

The next eight years became the most challenging and most loved years that Jeff, now better known as "Doc", had ever known. Being a doctor was no longer an occupation; it was a calling, a way of life. On any given day, a person walking down Maine Street might see Doc standing outside the post office — still holding mail he'd just picked up — and examining the knee of a man whose walk had him concerned. A drive past his house on a Saturday morning might reveal Doc standing on his porch, listening to the chest of a feverish child held fast in his young mother's arms.

Doc became the face of safety, health, compassion and kindness. He was the sentinel who kept death outside the door as often and for as long as he could. For those who passed, he made their passing gentle.

Doc left us all behind at 10am on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 with his two sisters, Melissa and Priscilla, at his side. Also grieving are Melissa's husband, Hal Goldberg and her two children, Jessica and Max; Jeff's daughter, Amanda; Jeff's son, Nathan, Nathan's wife, Jamie, and their three boys Emery, Fallon and Tavyn. And let's not forget his dogs Abbott, Costello and Bailey, the clinic and hospital staff who cared for him in his last days as lovingly as any family could, and over 2,000 patients who were more than patients, they were friends.

Jeff Waggoner was one of a kind, a brilliant and remarkably compassionate man. He left us far too soon. And he will be greatly missed.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Jeffrey Waggoner Memorial Fund in care of the Kiowa County National Bank; Box 847; Eads, CO 81036



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Original Publication Date: November 6, 2015



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