dr. William G. “Dr. Bill” Mehos, 92, of Salida died July 25 at the Columbine Manor Care Center in Salida.
He was born on November 9, 1929, at home in Salida, to Greek immigrant parents Gus and Angela Trifonopoulou Mehos.
Both his parents were born and raised in Methoni, Greece, before immigrating separately to Salida, where they met and married. He traveled several times with his family back to Greece, where he got to know and love his relatives there.
He attended Salida schools and graduated from Salida High School in 1947. He was class president and on the student council.
He loved sports in high school and was one of the first two three-sport lettermen at Salida High his junior year.
He played in the high school band and was the first chair trumpet player in his junior and senior years. His family remembered that he often played the same trumpet in their youth.
While playing football, he had aspirations to become a coach, but after his first day in medical school, he said he knew he had taken the right path to become a doctor.
He attended the University of Colorado, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and vice president of the fraternity in his senior year.
He said it was the most fulfilling position he held – he loved serving on all the committees – until later serving on the hospital board in Salida.
He attended medical school at the University of Colorado and interned at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, then returned to Salida for a three-month internship at what is now Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (formerly known as the Denver and Rio Grande Hospital).
After completing medical school, he joined Dr. Leo Leonardi in practice in Salida. Soon after, he served in the United States Army for two years, earning the rank of captain and serving in the medical corps at Fort Sam Houston in Texas and Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.
dr. Mehos said the pinnacle of his career was his patients, who made medicine so rewarding. When he retired in 2003 after 46 years of service to his patients and the community, he had served three generations of many families. He estimated that he gave birth to somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 babies during that time. He especially enjoyed this aspect of his job, as these were such happy occasions for the families.
dr. Mehos was the first to be inducted into the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Hall of Fame, a tribute to individuals who have made a lasting commitment to quality healthcare in the Upper Arkansas Valley and made the medical center an integral part of their lives. .
In the 1960s, he was one of the visionaries who stepped forward to purchase the original Denver & Rio Grande Railroad hospital and preserve it for the community. One of his proudest achievements was advocating for and subsequently realizing the creation of the new hospital which was completed in 2008 while serving on the board of directors of Salida Hospital District.
He worked closely with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office and the Salida Golf Club to negotiate a land swap and get the deal through the Colorado legislature quickly. As he said, “We made it happen!”
dr. Mehos was the hospital’s chief of staff, a coroner, worked at the Chaffee People’s Clinic, was a FIBArk Parade Marshal, served on the board of the HRRMC Foundation, and was a member of Salida Elks Lodge and Salida Rotary Club.
When he retired, he also liked to play racquetball with friends and family, enjoyed the fact that he would beat the younger people and hoped that “someday they could do the same when they were his age.”
An avid golfer, he was proud to have served as president of the Salida Golf Club several times. Working with the club’s board and members, he solicited state funding to match volunteer donations, leading to the first grass fairways and later grass tee boxes that members enjoy today. He loved teaching his family how to play golf and often took his grandchildren to the driving range in the hope that they would play the game someday.
He enjoyed sweets immensely and could often be found enjoying an ice cream sundae with his grandchildren during their visits.
He married the former Jo Ann Endres in Indiana, and they became the parents of three children, Greg, Melissa and Mark. They were married for 23 years until her death in 1975.
He married the former Linda Hagerman in Salida and they were married 25 years before her death in 2017.
dr. Mehos was preceded in death by his parents; 3-year-old sister, Anastasia; spouses; and grandson Mark Mansheim.
Survivors include his children, Greg (Kelly) Mehos of Westford, Massachusetts, Melissa (Tom) Mansheim of Salida, and Mark (Brenda) Mehos of Boulder; grandchildren Sidney Mehos, Gabriel (Randi) Williams, Taylor (John) Sheffler, Morgan Mansheim, Carissa (Ryan) Milliken and Alexa Mehos, great-grandchildren, Brandon Sheffler, Mason Sheffler and Theodore Milliken, brother, John Mehos; cousins, Constantine and Penelope Mehos; and his Yorkie Lilly, who was his special companion in his later years.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Foundation or the Ark-Valley Humane Society.
Services will be at 10am August 13, 2022, at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Salida with a reception following on Salida SteamPlant.
Appointments are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home in Salida.
Condolences may be directed to Mark Mehos, 1080 Love Court, Boulder, CO 80303.
Online condolences can be offered at lewisandglenn.com.