Duane Churchwell



The Life & Times of ME

I AM A NATIVE OF COLORADO!!! I was born in Longmont on March 3, 1945 by a midwife in a farmhouse on the current “Gun Barrel Hwy” between Longmont & Boulder. My father went to work for Great Western Sugar Company as one of their Construction Mgrs. So we were moved all over the N. front range, wherever there was old or new construction happening. Today, all of US would just commute the 20-60 miles. Funny!! However, I do remember how fearful it was to go from Brush to Longmont in 1952 in a really, really bad ground blizzard. As Barbara Walters would say ”Vewy, vewy scawy!!!

Grade, Junior & High School

I went to 1st & 2nd Grade in Brush, CO; 3rd, 4th,& 5th Grade in Johnstown, CO; 6th, 7th & 8th Grade in Loveland, CO; 9th Grade in Eaton, CO and finally 10th 11th and 12th in Gering NB. Did I learn anything? I LEARNED HOW TO PACK!!!


I went to University of Northern Colorado(Colorado State College) in Greeley and graduated with a Chemistry Major with a Mathematics Minor. Freshman year, Brent Page and I saw each other in the Student Union, caught up on the “rumors” going on in Johnstown and occasionally saw each other on campus. (I was on the 5 yr plan because I just loved to take classes, naaaaa). I could say the teachers loved me but many didn’t know me except for 1st day, Mid-term and Final. I may have been the only student in UNC history to FLUNK SWIMMING. I guess they didn’t understand, I ALREADY KNEW HOW TO SWIM! Thus the NO_SHOW for classes. Another story. I was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. Another much more involved story. I graduated in March, 1968. I did not have a teaching job yet, however the U of Nebraska wanted me to work for them in research and at the same time work toward my PhD. Needed ANOTHER deferment from the military! January, 1968 – no way!! So I was asked to join Uncle Sam‘s World War Tour Club. And I was a medic or “Doc” to those of you civilians.


Boot camp in San Diego, Medical School in San Diego at Balboa Hospital. Graduated as a Medical Corpsman attached to the Marine Corps. Shipped to Camp Pendleton in Oceanside where I stayed for 2 years. Married in January, 1970, had a son in August and was shipped overseas as a Medic to Vietnam shortly thereafter (1970-1971). Discharged in May of 1972.


I got married to a Navy Nurse in January, 1970. We hadr first son, Troy who has a boy Ben (11) and a girl Taylor(12), was born at the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton, CA . My second son was born in Pueblo, CO in 1973 and is still single. My Daughter was born in 1992 (second marriage) and attends St. Lawrence University in up-state NY. My oldest brother Dick, who won the “Stars of Tomorrow” in Johnstown in 1958 passed in 2002. My brother Don played football & basketball for Johnstown and lives in Ptarmigan with all his family living in CO. My sister whom most of you probably remember, 1 year older, lives in Lone Tree and her family all live in CO. My Mother and Father have passed away.


After discharge from the military, I worked for various medical firms in the Western US primarily living in Denver until I FINALLY found my niche in life. In 1979, the Environmental Regulations were being formulated by the Us EPA for industrial compliance. I joined a company from Philadelphia which had no representation to the West & worked for them for 6 yrs. I was an owner of 3 companies in the Environmental business and finish my career after a severe environmental accident in San Diego in 2000. I traveled all over the United States, met with all US Agencies and Environmental Dignitaries from many Foreign Countries regarding contaminated sites and the required technologies to clean them up. Worked on many of the US PRIORITY LISTED SITES, such as Rocky Flats, Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Summitville Gold Mine and the list goes on and on……I FINALLY had the opportunity to do Research and Development, with the end product being a technology that removed radioactivity from wastewater. THE ENVIRONMENTAL INDUSTRY WAS A JOB I WANTED TO GET UP IN THE MORNING TO DO, AND THEY PAID ME TO DO IT!!!!


I retired early, so part of my retirement was spent living 3 blocks from the beach in Pacific Beach CA, surfing every morning, playing lots of golf & enjoying the CA sun the remainder of the time. I just celebrated 25 yrs Clean & Sober so I help many others find the road to sobriety. I also belong to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Group, PTSD, which meets weekly to help ourselves but also those that are returning from Iraq & Afghanistan make some sense out of their actions and feelings once they return. I traveled extensively within the US but did not allow me to travel outside the US. So, today I am trying to travel as much as possible. Was scheduled to go to Panama this last March and Europe for the months of July, August & Sept of this year. My car accident on 11/26/12 where I received severe concussion & my Dr. didn’t release me to even drive until April, put all that on hold until next year.