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Obituary: Don Ensign

Locations: Obituaries Published

Sept. 5, 1936 – Aug. 21, 2020 

Don died on Friday, Aug. 21 from natural causes and an immoderate lifestyle. (   

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Don is survived by his exquisite wife Jody and three astonishing sons and daughters-in-law, all extremely successful and with not an ounce of pretension amongst them. They’ve produced eight grandchildren (who all appear to be on the same trajectory) and one great grandchild (who knows). 

Don enjoyed a long and diverse career: professor (Utah State, North Carolina State), consultant (founder of Design Workshop), developer and most recently a sculptor. He worked long hours during the week but always took weekends off to play and enjoy family and friends.  He was an avid horseman (fox hunting, eventing, trail riding, stock herding), golfer, backcountry skier and hiker. He was sometimes observed to over indulge on weekends but always with good humor. Occasional anger was confined to inattentive drivers, muffed golf shots and political stupidity. 

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Politically, Don was a social progressive and an economic conservative. He supported gay rights, and racial and gender equality.  Whenever the opportunity presented itself he always voted for women irrespective of political complexion convinced that women had better foresight, more compassion and a superior grasp of budget reality.  

If you would like to acknowledge Don’s service to the community please do so with a contribution in his name to Carbondale Arts (CA).  Don’s view is that this organization, coupled with superb town governance and an engaged citizenry has made Carbondale one of the most desirable communities in the intermountain region and loved it dearly.

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Don’s life will be remembered by a going away party at some point in the future when friends, colleagues and family are allowed to gather.  At which time no solemn, maudlin or religious stuff allowed, only the roasting of foibles, misconduct, irreverence and fun in celebration of a joyous life well lived will be allowed.

From early adulthood Don subscribed to the notion that life is far too important to be taken seriously.  In that vein, Don said that he will not be personally attending the festivities but will be toasting everyone’s love and friendship.

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Love, happiness and gratitude to you all


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