Donald Franklin McCuan
Donald Franklin McCuan

April 26, 1950 - May 12, 2017
Born in Sherman, Texas
Resided in Centennial, CO
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Donald Franklin McCuan, PhD, died on May 12, 2017.

He was born in Sherman, Texas in 1950. He graduated from Sherman High School in 1968, and then earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Austin College, also in Sherman, in 1972.

He began work as a software engineer at Fast Tax in Dallas, Texas.

Don moved to Colorado to enjoy the mountains, hiking, and camping.

He was delighted to find the Paleontology Certification program at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and earned his certification in 1992. Using his field and preparatory skills became his lifelong passion. Some of his most wonderful times were spent out in the field on digs. He also devoted most of his Saturdays to working as "Lab Captain" in the paleontology preparatory lab in the Prehistoric Journey Hall at the Museum.

During his career as a software engineer, Don worked for K N Energy, Adolph Coors Company, CRP Solutions, Lucent, Avaya, Unison, and Newmont Mining Company, as well as other companies.

In working for Coors, he met his wife Carolyn, and they married in 1995.

Don accomplished one of his life goals when he earned a Doctorate in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2012.

Don had many talents. In the 1990s, he completed several botanical illustration courses at the Denver Botanical Gardens and had some pieces exhibited there. He was an excellent woodworker. He built his own woodworking shop and filled it with custom cabinets, racks, and his own handmade tool accessories. He tackled any and every home remodelling project that his wife conceived of, with skill and creativity.

He was generous with his time and talents, helping both of his parents-in-law in any way he could.

He loved animals and gave a wonderful home to many pets.

Don is survived by loving family members: his wife, Carolyn Moore McCuan, brother, Ronald McCuan, sister-in-law, Teresa McCuan, nephew, Charles McCuan, niece, Michelle Grimes, and cousins, Tricia, Wayne, and Larry Grigg. Don is also survived by in-laws who loved him very much: mother-in-law, Robin Garstka, sisters-in-law, Sarah Gooch and Amy Moore, brothers- in law, Tom Gooch and Gary Greenburg, nieces and nephews, Kim Clemons, Matthew Clemons, Simon Gooch, Cybill and Cailin Greenburg, and great-nephews and -niece, Aaron Mann, Aidan and Grace Clemons.

Don was preceded in death by his mother, Bertha Lee Grigg McCuan, his father, Noble McKeel McCuan, aunts and uncles, Homer Grigg and Margaret Abbott Grigg Atkins, Don and Faye Grigg, cousin, Ken Grigg, and father-in-law, Melville Moore.

A Celebration of Don's Life was held at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on May 21, 2017.

Don is greatly missed.

Contributions may be made to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science at or at 2001 Colorado Blvd. Denver, Colorado 80205.

Please share your memories of Don and condolences with his family by signing the guest book below.




Celebration of Life
Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Schlessman Lobby/Atrium
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205
Sunday, May 21, 2017
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Don's honor to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.