Dr. William G. “Dr. Bill” Mehos, 92, of Salida died July 25 at Columbine Manor Care Center in Salida.
He was born Nov. 9, 1929, at home in Salida to Greek immigrant parents Gus and Angela Trifonopoulou Mehos.
Both of his parents were born and raised in Methoni, Greece, before immigrating separately to Salida, where they met and married. He traveled with his family back to Greece on several occasions, where he grew to know and love his relatives there.
He attended Salida schools and graduated from Salida High School in 1947. He served as class president and on the student council.
He loved high school sports and was one of the first two three-sport lettermen at Salida High his junior year.
He played in the high school band, sitting as first chair trumpeter his junior and senior years. His family remembered him playing that same trumpet often in their youth.
While playing football, he had aspirations of becoming a coach but said after his first day in medical school he knew he had chosen the right path in becoming a doctor.
He attended the University of Colorado where he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and vice president of the fraternity his senior year.
He mentioned this was the most satisfactory office he held – he loved serving on all the committees – until he later served on the hospital board in Salida.
He attended medical school at the University of Colorado and interned at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, returning to Salida for a three-month externship at what is now Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (previously known as the Denver and Rio Grande Hospital).
After completing medical school, he joined Dr. Leo Leonardi in practice in Salida in 1957. Shortly after, he served in the US 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 highlight 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 he delivered somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 babies during that time. He especially enjoyed this aspect of his job since these were such happy occasions for the families.
Dr. Mehos was the first to be inducted into Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center’s Hall of Fame, which honors individuals who have made an enduring commitment to quality health care in the Upper Arkansas Valley and made the medical center an integral part of their lives .
In the 1960s, he was among the visionaries who stepped forward to purchase the original hospital from the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and save it for the community. One of his proudest achievements was to advocate for and subsequently realize establishment of the new hospital completed in 2008 while serving on the Salida Hospital District board of directors.
He worked closely with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office and the Salida Golf Club to negotiate a land swap and to quickly move the agreement through the Colorado Legislature. As he stated, “We got it done!”
Dr. Mehos served as the hospital’s chief of staff, was a county coroner, served on the Chaffee People’s Clinic, was a FIBArk parade marshal, was on the HRRMC Foundation board and a member of Salida Elks Lodge and Salida Rotary Club.
In his retirement he also enjoyed playing racquetball with friends and family, relishing the fact that he would beat the younger folks and hoping that “they could do the same someday when they were his age.”
He was an avid golfer and proud to serve several stints as president of the Salida Golf Club. Working with the board and members of the club, 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 to play golf, often taking his grandchildren to the driving range in hopes they would someday take up the game.
He greatly enjoyed sweets 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 23 years until her death in 1975.
He married the former Linda Hagerman in Salida and they were married 25 years prior to 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; nephew and niece, Constantine and Penelope Mehos; and his Yorkie Lilly, who was his special companion in his later years.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Foundation or Ark-Valley Humane Society.
Services will be at 10 am Aug. 13, 2022, at Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Salida with a reception following at Salida SteamPlant.
Arrangements are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home in Salida.
Condolences may be addressed to Mark Mehos, 1080 Love Court, Boulder, CO 80303.
Online condolences may be offered at lewisandglenn.com.