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Slugger Church - January 30, 2010

William “Slugger” E. Church, Jr. was born to William E. and Della Mae Church March 16, 1954 in Julesburg. He fought a long, hard battle with Mesothelioma Cancer and died Jan. 30, 2010 at Feather River Hospice House in Paradise, Calif. in the presence of his loved ones.

Slugger grew up in Roggen and attended schools in Keenesburg and graduated from Weld Central High School in 1973. While attending high school, he was on the wrestling team and won the Colorado State wrestling championship. After high school, he attended Mesa State College in Grand Junction, earning his associate’s degree in auto body. During the summers, Slugger worked on his father’s custom combine crew.

In 1975 Slugger married Carolyn Dyess and they had one son, Zachariah. He remarried in June of 1981 to Barbara Tucker. His family lived in Keenesburg where he worked in the oil fields. In 1986 he moved his family to Paradise, Calif. and worked odd jobs until he acquired a position with Paradise Irrigation District, which he held for 20 years.

Slugger was full of life, and lived it to the fullest. He was a very honest, hard-working man who lived to fish and hunt, never knew a stranger and was always there to help anyone in need. He was a member of E. Clampus Vitus Chapter 7-11 for 24 years and participated in S.E.A.R.C.H. for many years. He was also a member of the Chico Bass Club.

Preceding him in death are his parents, William E. Church, Sr. and Della Church, and his brother, Ronald Dean.

Slugger leaves behind his wife of 28 years, Barbara; sons, Zachariah and Cole; daughter, Kyndra; son-in-law, Ricky Rash; grandchildren, Jenika, Brevin, Kieley and Blake; sisters, Cindy Kilker, Debby Krause and husband Steve and Lynda Farner; and many other relatives who will miss him dearly. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends and will be especially missed by his little dog, Riley.

Services were held Feb. 5 at the Rose Chapel in Paradise, Calif., with a reception following at the Paradise Eagles Lodge. A celebration of life service will be held in Grand Junction and Keenesburg toward the end of February or beginning of March. Details will be announced later.