Victor Allan Crumbaker

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  • "Dr. Crumbaker was a person to be admired, and he helped..."
    - Phyllis Newby
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Victor Allan Crumbaker December 9, 1923 – March 11, 2013 Victor Allan Crumbaker was born in Missoula, Montana on December 9, 1923. He died at Julia Temple Healthcare Center in Denver, Colorado on March 11, 2013. Vic was the first of two children born to Oliver Victor Crumbaker and Christine Olson Crumbaker. His father was a school principal and Vic spent his early years among several small Montana towns. He graduated from Flathead County High School in Kalispell, Montana in 1941. After high school, Vic attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He was planning to be a lawyer. He joined the U. S. Army in 1943. Some of his military service was spent taking college courses and some at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver. He was identified as a candidate for medical school and was discharged in 1946. Vic attended CU School of Medicine in Denver. While in medical school he met Lucille Jane Flaherty, a research chemist at the medical school. In June of 1949, he received his M.D. degree, he and Lucy were married and he rejoined the Army on active reserve. Vic interned at Denver General Hospital. Vic and Lucy lived in a basement apartment in the City Park neighborhood and remembered being able to hear the zoo lions roar. In 1950, the Army sent Vic and Lucy to Bremerhaven, Germany. Vic served as a physician in the 319th Station Hospital and also the Bremerhaven Port of Embarkation. Part of that time they were joined by Vic's younger sister, Jody, who worked on the base. Their daughter, Mary Lucille, was born in Bremerhaven in 1951. Vic and Lucy returned to Colorado in May of 1952, and Vic was discharged from the Army. Vic and Lucy's next stop was Gillette, Wyoming where Vic was in general practice for one year. Next, Vic completed a three year residency in Internal Medicine at the Denver VA Hospital and CU School of Medicine. Vic and Lucy looked for a place to settle down and practice medicine and chose Grand Junction, Colorado where Vic opened his practice in July of 1956. They remained in Grand Junction and welcomed two sons, Allan John in 1957, and Daniel Victor in 1963. In addition to his private practice, Vic spent several years as the medical consultant to the State Home and Training School. Vic was a member of the Medical Staff at St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center. He served as the Chief of the Medical Staff from 1963 - 1966 and the Chief of the Internal Medicine Section from 1965 - 1967. He also served on the Colorado State Medical Society Grievance Committee and its Board of Councilors and was appointed to the State Board of Medical Examiners by then Governor John Love from 1967-1973. During his career, he was also a member of the Mesa County Medical Society and the American and Colorado Societies of Internal Medicine. Vic became involved in the formation of the Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization in 1973, and was it's first medical director from 1973 - 1976. Vic retired from active practice in 1991. In addition to his professional activities, Vic served on the board of Mesa Federal Savings and Loan, was instrumental in the early development of Senior Daybreak and was on the City of Grand Junction Arts and Culture Commission. His parents; his wife, Lucy, and his sister-in-law, Helen J. Flaherty, preceded Vic in death. He is survived by his three children, Mary, Allan, and Dan; daughter-in law, Beth (Allan); two grandchildren, Lauren Malia and Leah Danielle; sister, Jody Mercer Wallace, and his brother-in-law, Rev. Daniel J. Flaherty. We survivors cherish so many memories. Some revolve around the family ski trips, fishing trips and vacations; his steady, dependable, accepting nature; his love of music from Mahler to Gilbert and Sullivan; his devotion to his profession and patients; his incredible memory and ability to quote, or sing, all kinds of poetry, song lyrics and sayings; reading the comics first and telling us they were the most important part of the paper; his gentlemanly behavior even as he became frail and elderly; and his Thursday afternoons off when he played golf, cards or skied with his dear friend, Dick Troy, and others. In addition, we are especially grateful for the warm support we've received from Vic and Lucy's many friends throughout our lives and especially during the recent years of his decline. A memorial Mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 790 26 1/2 Road, Grand Junction, on Monday, March 25, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. Mass will be followed by a light lunch. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Marillac Clinic or Catholic Outreach.
Published in The Daily Sentinel from Mar. 20 to Mar. 24, 2013
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