On October 13, 2023, David Richard Milek, age 97, passed from this earth into the loving arms of Jesus. David was born in January of 1926 in Fremont, Nebraska in his uncle’s home. David was the fourth son of William Arthur and Hazel Milek. David grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. His father was the chief civil engineer for Omaha Steel Works and his mother was a wonderful homemaker of 4 active boys. Her faith in God and acts of charity shaped their lives.
David had three brothers Bill, Bob and Jack who have preceded him in death. Jack died of Lymphoma in his senior year of high school. His passing was a devastating loss to the family and left a lasting impression on David. He attended Dundee Elementary school, 1st-8th grade and noted he was the captain of the safety patrol, ironically, concerns about the safety and well-being of others followed him throughout his lifetime. He attended Central High School 9th-12th grade. He was a good student, ran track, and played softball. He had close family relationships with his parents and brothers and made lifelong friendships during his school age years in Omaha. He often talked about his 5 closest boyhood friends the “QMP’s”. He graduated in 1943.
David’s older brothers were off fighting in World War II when he graduated, so as soon as David turned 18, he enlisted and served in the Navy on February 15, 1944, until to his honorable discharge on May 27, 1946. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Macdonough and was a sonar operator in the north Pacific. He was honored to serve our nation.
In September of 1946 he enrolled at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science. He belonged to Delta Tau Delta fraternity and was a hasher at the Delta Gamma sorority house where he met the love of his life, Margaret Mary “Maggie” Ryan from Kansas City, Missouri. They were married in December 1948 and celebrated 61 years of a beautiful marriage together until her passing in December 2009.
In March of 1949 David and Maggie moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico for a job with JC Penney in their management training program. While in Las Vegas, his daughter’s Margaret Ann (Peggy) and Mary Karen, were born. He worked for JC Penney for several years and various states including Twin Falls, Idaho and ultimately Denver, Colorado. David left JC Penney to begin a career in the insurance industry. He worked for Koelbel & Co. for 20 years as senior vice president, managing the insurance division. During his career with Koelbel & Co., his daughter Kathleen Evelyn and son John David were born.
David was very involved in the Independent Insurers of Denver and the Independent Insurers of Colorado and served as President in 1974. He received numerous awards and served on the board of directors with the Colorado Safety Association and Colorado Highway Advisory committee to raise thousands of dollars to install driver training simulators in Denver Public Schools. In 1976, David went on to serve as a State National Director for the Independent Agents of America representing more than 35,000 agents and brokers. He also held board positions with the Southwest YMCA and Goodwill Industries. He was a member of the Denver Kiwanis Club for over 25 years. His contributions to serving others with his time and talent benefited many people.
In 1980, David resigned from Koelbel & Co. to open his own insurance agency by the name of Milek Insurance Services, Inc. He had a strong desire to own his own company and based his decision to start the company on a verse from the bible, Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see.” Soon after the agency opened, his son John Milek and later his daughter Kathleen Finley joined him in the agency until his retirement January 1, 1994.
David was passionate about helping the mentally ill gain access to better health care benefits. His daughter Peggy, who passed away in July 2019, suffered from mental illness, and he experienced the challenges of limited insurance benefits for those who are most in need of help. He worked with CAMI, Colorado Alliance for the Mentally Ill, to pass legislation related to the health insurance benefits called the Parity Act. This provided benefits to the seriously mentally ill who needed more health care than what was being provided in health insurance policies. He also worked to erase the stigma of mental illness.
After David’s wife Maggie passed away, he moved to the Wind Crest Senior Living community in 2010 until his passing. There he continued to serve his community by serving on the Resident Advisory Council, the Sunday Evening Christian Fellowship planning committee, the Windcrest Republican club, and the Stephens Ministry group.
Dave’s life experiences and contribution to his family and community was shaped by his strong characteristic of faithfulness in God. The confidence of hope unseen and love for his neighbor was evident in his acts of charity. He was an optimist, and focused on the idea that good things come to those who believe. He was confident that God promised strength to face life’s challenges. David lived his life by exemplifying a verse in the bible Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint”.
David is survived by his daughters Karen Kuhn (spouse Gerhard), Kathleen Finley (spouse Mark) and John Milek (spouse Lynn). He also has 9 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
David called himself “Mr. Lucky”, those who knew him called him “Blessed”.
In the last few minutes of David’s life, he was listening to the lyrics of a beautiful song by Phil Wickham titled “Living Hope”. The words of the first verse are as follows:
“How great the chasm that lay between us. How high the mountain I could not climb.
In desperation, I turned to heaven and spoke your name into the night.
Then through the darkness your loving kindness, tore through the shadows of my soul.
The work is finished, the end is written, Jesus Christ, my living ‘hope’.
Goodbye for now! Until we meet at Heavens’ Gate!
**In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Volunteers of America, CO in memory of David Milek, 2660 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205, or online at www.voacolorado.org**