Robert Charles Eshelman, 80 years old, of Penrose, Colorado passed away on November 8th, 2023.
He is proceeded in death by his parents Sara and Charlemagne, his brother Clarence, and sister Mary. He is survived by his wife Kathy Eshelman (also of Penrose, Colorado). Additionally, he is survived by son Dustin (D.J.) (of Franklin, TN) as well as his daughter Sara Star Lapoehn along with grandchildren Braden and Layla Lapoehn (of Fort Collins, CO).
Robert (Bob) was born in Burbank, California, December 5th, 1942. His family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska while Bob was yet a young boy. It was in South Lincoln that Bob spent his formative years.
Bob served our country several times, enlisting in the US Army in 1959, just 26 days after his 17th birthday. He served overseas for two years and two years in reserve, obtaining his GED certificate along the way. He was discharged from the Army December 21st 1962.
It was during this time that he met his lifelong friends Jeff Travis and Bob Diegel, remaining close with the families of both friends for many years.
346 days after his formal honorable discharge from the Army, he enlisted into the US Air Force (this would be three days prior to his 21st birthday) in 1963. He served primarily as a radio technician/repairman until his service ended in 1967.
Following this time, Bob served as a Military Intelligence contractor for 18 months during the Vietnam War. This is was something he rarely discussed, as he was captured and spent time as a prisoner of war, though a civilian at that time.
On the brighter side of his service, he was able to travel the world, including Germany, England, Greece and the Philippines.
Bob returned home and met the love of his life, Kathy, thru mutual friends in Lincoln, NE in 1971. They were married in June of 1974 at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO, where they bought their first home.
His only son D.J. was born on Bob’s 33rd birthday, followed by his favorite daughter Star who born in May 1980, both in Colorado Springs.
In 1976, he served once again with about a year of additional government contract work, this time utilizing his skillsets in radio and electronics in Iceland. Bob worked on early detection systems used by US Intelligence and Defense agencies.
The couple returned to Colorado Springs, where Bob often worked on-and-off again as an Electronics Technician for Ampex in Colorado Springs where he met many life-long friends and completed various employment contracts. The “FYITN” group of friends still keeps in touch to this day. IFYKYK.
Bob and Kathy were separated in the early 1980s, divorced in 1984… but reconciled a few months later, being remarried on April 1, 1985. No joke. They said “You have to have a sense of humor to make a marriage work.” And it continued to be that, as laughter was a hallmark of the Eshelman home.
In 1986, the Family moved to a 40-acre undeveloped (off-grid) area near Penrose, Colorado where Bob took on utilizing his skills in electronics to manage the electrical power of the household, either thru a generator charging batteries or later by solar panels.
While Kathy commuted to Colorado Springs for work, Bob took care life at home, though doing occasional work for companies such as Estes (who makes rockets, a fascination of Bob’s), or literally chopping wood and breaking stone to accommodate the harshness of life ‘off-grid.’ He had a deep love of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and dreamed of building a ‘Hobbit Hole” as a home in a bluff on the property, unfortunately finding the rocky terrain made it impossible. He also loved C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia series – a pathway on another hill within the couple’s property was a multi-year project that he lovingly called the “Narnia Trail.”
When his brother Clarence died unexpectedly in 1989, Bob and Kathy volunteered guardianship of Clarence’s son Paul. The process was not easy, as Bob lived in Portland, Oregon with Paul for several months until guardianship was established and Paul came to live with the Eshelmans in Penrose.
Bob remained a hobby tinkerer with various electronics and small machinery for many years. He loved collecting vinyl records up until the 1980s, but continued to tinker with sound equipment as he could. He enjoyed camping and just being around his friends (mostly from his time at Ampex), especially when fireworks or Estes rockets could be involved.
Bob had the unique distinction of having been checked into a Veterans Home (long term care facility) for a time, but then going back home when a medical procedure helped the dementia for a time long enough for him to be cared for at home. Bob was proud, however, to have been elected to President of the Residents while there.
Though rebellious in spirit until his final days, Robert “Bob” Eshelman had a deep respect for the United States (the country and people). His favorite holiday was Independence Day and he had a deep respect for the flag, standing to attention at all appropriate times. A close second holiday would be Christmas; at least in that he enjoyed giving gifts (especially wacky ones) even if he didn't enjoy the holiday itself. Because he shared a birthday with his son, December was always a month filled with gifts and joy. The family is, of course, sad that he died so close to his 81st birthday – but as you can see, he always seemed to have a knack for unexpected events and life changes around December.
Though a man of few words… Above all, most remember his smile, letting you know that you were okay by him…
Funeral services were held Saturday, November 18th 2023 at Kirkwood Memorial Church – the service can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2ViJQ9jrss
In lieu of flowers, gifts, or memorial donations, the family suggests that Bob would have preferred that you simply buy the person behind you a coffee – a favorite activity of his when a local coffee shop opened a drive-thru window.
The family would like to thank Sangre de Christo Hospice services who had nurses, CNAs, and other care professionals drive miles up a dirt road just to help care for Robert during his passing. We could not have done it without the care and compassion you modeled and demonstrated.
A private memorial is likely to be held at the family property on July 4th, where some of Bob’s ashes will be spread in a manner the family believes he would find most appreciate.
…The fire department will be duly informed.
On an unfortunate note, on the day of Bob’s passing, an online scammer posing as D.J.’s friend Richard “offered” to make a funeral fund. The family advises that anyone who was taken in by this scheme to contact the authorities and especially the processing bank for a refund. PayPal has been alerted, but if you see the message or one similar please logon to your PayPal account and start a chat with support – the online service was able to help me and more information will help them further. We pray for the people that would be willing to do such a dramatically evil thing on the day of our dad’s passing. I'd also like to thank PayPal support for their personal support during this time and for passing along their condolences.
In light of this, I would like to remind everyone that it is important that you NEVER use the same password twice for two different things, as this is how attacks like this typically occur. I use, endorse, and am an affiliate for Dashlane because they have a comprehensive password management system that unlike others is far more difficult to compromise. However, Dashlane also offers Dark Web monitoring that can help you be proactive in situations where your passwords are found online.
In addition, please take seriously the use of multi-factor authentication such as rotating codes and SMS codes (please note that these are not as secure and are related to the hack we experienced), but modern solutions such as facial recognition and others that are capable of proving that YOU are the one sending the authentication. Dashlane integrates with these systems right in your browsers and on your phone, by the way. Please protect yourself online. Take compromises seriously. The compromise in question here took over two years to come to the surface like it did.
Please note that as an affiliate for Dashlane they do offer you an additional benefit by using my link and my family benefits by earning additional credits for their services, which we intend to use for many more years.