10/7/31 - 7/30/19
John Craig Edgerton M.D., 87, passed away on July 30th in Aztec, NM. Born October 7, 1931 in St. Paul, Minnesota he spent his summers in the canoe country of northern Minnesota and became an Eagle Scout by age 13. He attended Macalester College on a swimming scholarship and later was one of the only athletes in school history to be inducted into the athletic hall of fame there in 2 sports-swimming and track. He then went on to the University of Minnesota Medical School. It was there he met his "Scandinavian Goddess" and future wife, Dora Lindgren, a nurse anesthetist at the University. They married and started a family that eventually numbered 5 children: Bradley, Debra, Cynthia, Karl, and Eric. Their journey took them to Germany where Craig served as an Army Captain and director of the Ear Nose and Throat clinic in Stuttgart for 4 years. Later he finished his surgical training at Parkland Medical Center in Dallas and started the first head and neck cancer surgery practice in Dallas/Ft. Worth. In 1969, looking for a better life for his young family he moved them to Durango, Colorado where he became the first ENT surgeon in the region. He and Dorrie bought the Silver Saddle Girls Camp, a 50-acre paradise on the Florida River that he later named the Silver Stapes Ranch. A city slicker most of his life, he traded the big city urban lifestyle for one of country living, 4H, gardening, fishing, camping, backpacking, horseback riding, and general outdoor living. He learned and taught his children everything from gelding a pig to stringing a barb wire fence. In 1995 he sold his beloved ranch and moved into Durango and retired in 1997 after 28 years in practice. He and Dorrie have lived in Aztec since 2003.
His children remember him as a man whose intellectual and serious demeanor covered up a compassionate and caring nature. Raised with limited means by a single mother, he never forgot his roots and constantly tried to "give back" to others and improve every situation he was in. Lacking a father figure himself, he tried to be a father figure and mentor to those who needed one. This included sponsoring swimmers and establishing a swimming scholarship to help college bound athletes. To help swimmers be competitive with Denver athletes, he started the year-round swimming program in Durango in 1973. This meant learning how to run the plumbing and chemicals for training conditions at the only pool in town-the 22-yard 3 lane old high school pool. This was part of his "leave no stone unturned" approach to meeting the challenges he so enjoyed. After retirement, he continued his intellectual pursuits taking all the languages offered at SJCC and becoming a painter. His love of art history and painting lead him to commission a mural for the town of Aztec on the side of the old Aztec Hardware building.
Dr. Edgerton is preceded in death by his mother Gertrude, his father Karl, and his brothers Billie and Karl. He is survived by his wife Dorrie, children Brad (Jackie Bester), Debra (Dan Duran), Cyndy (Pete Travers), Karl (Dorothy Distlehorst), and Eric (Amanda Anderson). He cherished his 10 grandchildren Sarah, Zachary, Samuel (Bradley and Jackie), Craig, Kacie, Kelli (Debra and Dan), Cynthia, Ellen (Karl and Dorothy), Kyle and Rebecca (Eric and Amanda).
Per his request, there will be a private ceremony with family only. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Alzheimer's Association
or the Aztec Humane Society. Dr. Craig Edgerton