David Whitcombe spoke fluent Spanish, English with a variety of abominable accents, he fixed computer problems you didn’t know you had, and he did the hardest thing a person could do in this world: he made high school students care about math. All this (and more!) he accomplished with a quirked smile, a gleam in his eye and sometimes a ridiculous hat—especially at high school football games.
David was born in Denver, Colorado, on January 25, 1965, to Julia and John Whitcombe. He graduated from Paul Revere Middle and Palisades High schools. As a child, David spent bright childhood summers in Rifle, Colorado, and he returned there as an adult to live, learn and, eventually, to teach.
All are welcome to attend his Celebration of Life at 735 Ute Avenue in Rifle on August 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This will be a true celebration of the life of an extraordinary man: good food, good jokes, good friends. Additional event details are available at facebook.com/events/461995884587000.
All through his life, he retained his love for learning and a childlike sense of wonder. He took two paths into the world: one through science and one through philosophy.
He attended the University of California San Diego in electrical engineering (1983-86), worked as a repair depot manager for major tech companies in California (1989-92) and then went to attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in philosophy (1994-99).
He married fellow RHS teacher Capri Wesley in 2011, and became a dear stepfather to her two children, Emily Wesley and Kenny Wesley. He loved cats and, despite being allergic, kept them his whole life.
Besides math, he taught computer repair, English, and could even fill in teaching in language arts or history when occasion demanded. He also was active in the drama department, producing and directing school plays.
After his marriage to Capri in 2011, he worked in computer tech support in Boulder and on his return to Rifle in 2013, he formed his own computer repair company.
He did many things after leaving his teaching position, but nothing meant as much to him as being able to explain a complicated concept (fractions! negative numbers!) to a confused 11th grader and to see the light dawn. David was beloved by his students and imparted a lifelong love of logic, logarithms and philosophy in so many people.
He was preceded in death by his only child, a daughter, Faith, and survived by a family who will dearly miss him: his mother, Julia, (of Palisades) his older sister, Nancy Whitcombe, his de-facto daughter, Emily Wesley, and his niece and nephew, Annie and John Baker.
He passed away unexpectedly (and far too young), but peacefully and surrounded by his family and friends on June 19.
A light has gone out in all of our lives.
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