American Patriotic 10

David Wells Crippen

May 13, 1936 ~ September 26, 2020 (age 84)

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"God bless the whole world, no exceptions." 

David Wells Crippen, age 84, of Florence, Colorado, passed away Saturday, September 26th, 2020. 

Born May 13th, 1936 in Chester, Pennsylvania, to Lynn and Millie Crippen, David was the youngest of two children. He graduated from Hillsborough High school in Tampa, Florida.  With a baseball scholarship, he went to Anderson University, Anderson, IN. He then entered the U. S. Coast Guard for 8 years, serving on the U.S.S. Androscoggin.  He became a life-long learner earning 3 Master’s degrees (Education, Christian Education, and Divinity) and a doctorate in Education and Curriculum Development. He authored two published books: Two Sides of the River, and Was That a Coincidence or What!

David was a visionary, an adventurer, and a spiritual guide.

After their paths happily crossed at a Five & Dime, David fell in love with and married Karen Lou Baumann in 1961. As a young married couple, Karen and David answered the call to go to rural Kenya, taking their first child, who was eight weeks old, with them.  There David served as Curriculum Developer for the secondary schools in Kenya. Their second daughter was born in a tiny mission hospital in Mwihila, Kenya.  After returning to the states briefly for further education, David and Karen took their family of three daughters to Thailand, where he served as the Director of Refugee Relief and Development for Food for Hungry International.  Following that, he became the Director for medical refugee camps in Somalia for World Concern International. 

David saw a human need and did something about it. Back in the states, he set up recreation and education programs in a new state prison in Florida.  He started Hosanna Community in Chattanooga, Tennessee, homes for people with physical disabilities where they could live and find work while living interdependently with each other and their support team. This concept was new in the U.S. at that time.

David Crippen lived by the words of Saint Francis:  Preach the Gospel, and if you have to, use words.  Following this admonition, David served various churches in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Colorado and also as a Hospice Chaplain.  Countless people have said he changed their lives.

David was preceded in death by his parents and step-mother, Lynn Crippen, Mildred Crippen, and Edith Crippen and by his sister-in-law Jean Crippen. He is survived by his wife Karen Crippen, brother Johnny (Peggy Sayland) Crippen, daughters Bekki Crippen, Deb (Lynn) Crippen-Menefee, and Tabbi (Kip) Bilbrey, grandchildren Emma Crippen-Menefee, Aaron, Noa (Sydney) and Savannah Bilbrey, nieces Linda (Ron) Cox and Sandy Cress, many beloved dogs, and many hearts he has touched over a long life of service to others.

David would like to let you know that we are here to be kind and take care of each another.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date in Spring of 2021

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Westcliffe, Colorado, or to Hosanna Community in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Celebration of Life
October 27, 2020

10:00 AM
St. Lukes Episcopal
201 S. 3rd Street
Westcliffe, CO 81252

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