Dr. David Hobson Taggart, 80, passed away on Jan. 20, at Sierra Vista Health Care Center in Loveland, Colorado.
David was born in Evanston, at the Sims Hotel on May 15, 1938, the youngest of five children born to Nellie (Sims) and Morg Taggart. He grew up living at the hotel with his family and his Aunt Luella “Lue” Sims until he graduated high school. His very first job was at the tender age of 6, fetching the mail for his aunt from the post office twice a day.
David attended the University of Wyoming, where he played football and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education. Before beginning his first teaching position in Rawlins, he took a summer position as a camp counselor at Camp Regis in the Upper Appalachians of New York, where he met Elizabeth “Betsy” Ottley, another camp counselor, from Richmond, Virginia. David and Betsy married June 14, 1961, in Richmond before settling in Rawlins.
David and Betsy welcomed their first child, David Franklin, in 1962, while still in Rawlins, and their second child, Mary Rachel, in 1964, after they’d moved to Lander. David went back to school at Brigham Young University in Provo, and earned his master’s degree in school guidance and counseling and then returned to Evanston to teach, where he and Betsy welcomed Jennifer Lyn in 1968, and Jane Elizabeth in 1972. They returned to Laramie soon after as David attended law school, and ultimately earned a doctorate in school administration from UW.
David and Betsy moved their family to Natrona County, where David worked as a school administrator and, for a few years, as a personnel officer at First Interstate Bank in Casper before moving to Worland to work as a guidance counselor at Worland High School. David and Betsy divorced in 1986.
In 1989, David moved to Denver, where he spent the last several years of his professional career serving the students at Denver Public Schools as the guidance counselor at Hamilton Middle School. He risked his safety and sanity regularly as a chaperone for the annual 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. He also volunteered as a school representative for the Denver Teachers’ Club Assistance Fund. He retired from DPS in 2003.
In retirement, David turned his attention to volunteer work and spent many hours manning the information desk at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver, where he was honored with the Volunteer of the Year award before shifting his attentions to Rose Hospital, closer to his home, where he volunteered for years at the information desk and in the hospital gift shop.
David loved game shows, board games, word puzzles and terrible puns. He also loved football and made an excellent armchair referee. He loved music — especially classical and jazz — and supported the Colorado Symphony Orchestra as a season ticketholder for years. Most of all, though, David loved Wyoming, his home, and was proud to be a Cowboy.
David is preceded in death by his parents, Nellie and Morg; sisters, Mary Lou Blakeman and Sarah Jane Nelson; brothers, Fred and Charles “Paul” Taggart; granddaughter, Sarah Grace Taggart; and his beloved aunt, Lue Sims.
He is survived by his four children: Franklin (Monica Corrado) Taggart of Loveland, Colorado; Mary Rachel (Stephen) Jensen of Pleasant View, Utah; Jenni (Matthew Conroy) Taggart of Seattle, Washington; and Jane Taggart of Denver. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Amie Jensen, James Jensen and Bodhi Jack Taggart.
David will be cremated, and a private memorial will be held at a later time in Evanston. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Denver Teachers’ Club Assistance Fund.