Wilbur E. Rossmiller, a resident of Durango for nearly 45 years, died of heart failure early Christmas morning, Dec. 25, 2012. He was 89.
Mr. Rossmiller was born June 16, 1923, on a farm near Hebron, Neb., the 10th of 12 children born to Fred and Mary Rossmiller. He grew up with eight sisters and one brother.
Mr. Rossmiller left Chester, Neb., where the family had moved, after high school. He joined the Army at the end of World War II, rising to the rank of staff sergeant.
After mustering out, he met Bonnie Schweitzer. The couple married Dec. 3, 1950, and made their home in Lincoln, Neb., where Mr. Rossmiller was employed by the university as a roofing foreman. They became the parents of three sons.
In 1962, Mr. Rossmiller persuaded his wife that it would be much better to raise three active boys in the mountains of Colorado than in the city. So they sold their home, loaded a U-Haul and moved west.
The Rossmillers lived in Cortez and Dolores for a short time, but finally settled in Durango in 1968 and never left.
Mr. Rossmiller worked in construction for many years and eventually devoted his time to selling and repairing garage doors and openers. He continued that line of work until he retired around 2000.
Mr. Rossmiller was a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church for more than 40 years. Pastor John Knutson called him his “wizard” because of his ability to repair anything quickly and efficiently. He often devoted his time and talent to the church and was pleased to offer his assistance in any way he could, his family said.
Mr. Rossmiller was a good friend to everyone and his cheerful attitude throughout his illness endeared him to his caregivers and everyone he came in contact with, his family said.
Mr. Rossmiller is survived by his wife of 62 years, Bonnie Rossmiller of Durango; sons Mark Rossmiller of Leicestershire, England, Scott Rossmiller of Hilliard, Ohio, and Chris Rossmiller of Martinez, Calif.; two grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Mr. Rossmiller was cremated, and his ashes will be interred in the Christ the King columbarium. A memorial service will be held on the occasion of his 90th birthday June 16. In lieu of flowers, donations to Alpine Hospice, 691 County Road 233, Suite A4, Durango, CO 81301, or the Durango Food Bank, 194 Bodo Drive, Durango, CO 81303, would be appreciated.