FLOYD LEE TEMPLETON, 84, POURED HEART INTO COMMUNITY AND WORK
Rocky Mountain News
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Author: Chris Walsh, Rocky Mountain News
Fire chief. Postmaster. Real estate -developer. Bank director.
Floyd Lee Templeton entered the business world during college by purchasing the only grocery store in what was once the tiny town of Derby and is now part of Commerce City. He then crammed several lifetimes' worth of job titles into his professional career and -became a staple in the community.
Mr. Templeton died April 12 after a short illness. He was 84.
Family and friends say Mr. Templeton was a "wonderful" father and a driven businessman who was active in his community and once raised enough money to buy Derby's youth baseball team its first uniforms.
"He was a gentleman in every way possible," said Betty Templeton, his wife of nearly 61 years. "He opened doors for me, he appreciated people, he did what he could for others. He couldn't say no to anybody."
Mr. Templeton was born March 9, 1920, in Denver and grew up during the Depression. His father was sheriff of Derby, and the family lived in a house that was attached to the town jail.
"We used to joke that he grew up in jail," Betty said.
As a teenager, Mr. Templeton worked at several grocery stores before graduating from Brighton High School . He went to the University of Denver, where he pledged Kappa Sigma and Alpha Kappa Psi fraternities and -majored in corporate law.
But, after two years in college, without enough money to continue his -education, he bought the Derby Grocery and Market.
At 23, he met Betty, who was 18, and the two later married.
In 1945 Mr. Templeton was named Derby postmaster, a position he handled from a small cubicle in the corner of his grocery store.
Mr. Templeton's ambitions grew, and he added to his holdings, buying another grocery store and two drugstores in Derby and at Lowry Field.
Floyd also became part owner and -director of Metropolitan State Bank and built a number of homes and commercial buildings in the Derby area.
He poured his heart into the community, volunteering on school boards, coaching high school basketball teams, helping start the town's first fire department - of which he later became fire chief - co-authoring the Commerce City Charter and participating in -numerous other organizations.
"He was an outstanding citizen of this community for many, many years," said Bob Hutchings, who played high school basketball when Mr. Templeton coached the team and later served with him in the fire department. "He had a way with people, a way of bringing different sides together."
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Lisa Batton, and two grandchildren, all of St. Charles, Ill.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent in Floyd's name to Exempla Colorado Lutheran Home, 7991 E. 71st Ave., Arvada, CO 80004.