Colton Reed Ensley (age 28) passed away as the result of a catastrophic accident while riding an ATV to do farm work on September 13. Having suffered an extensive brain injury, he was placed on life support at the Delta Hospital and airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, CO, where he underwent surgery. He remained in ICU while his extended family and many friends stood vigil until September 15 when, after much consultation and prayer, it was determined that he could not survive. Demonstrating his compassionate, caring nature, he had elected, as an organ donor, to give the Gift of Life to others. The Donor Alliance paid tribute to him with a Walk of Honor through the hospital corridor.
Colton was born in Delta on November 9, 1994, to Juanita (Wyble) Ensley, now of Oregon, and Scott Ensley of Delta. Ironically, he suffered complications at his birth in Delta which required that he be transported to St. Mary’s and then on to Children’s Hospital in Denver where he spent six weeks before being able to go home (wearing an oxygen tube in his little nose).
As a bright, blue-eyed toddler with an infectious smile, he became a gregarious youngster and teenager – to him no one was a stranger. He readily radiated “friendship” and was always willing to help where he could.
He was a 2013 graduate of Cedaredge High School. There he excelled as a student, enjoyed competing on the FFA Parliamentary Procedure Team, proudly showed his 4-H chickens and pigs at the Delta County Fair, performed in plays, and thoroughly enjoyed sports – especially football and baseball. He was the varsity center for Cedaredge’s State Championship Football Team in 2013. He won a full-ride Daniels Scholarship which he elected to use at Colorado School of Mines for two years. Realizing that he really was not destine to be a Petroleum Engineer, he gained employment working in oil fields in Colorado and New Mexico. From there he moved on to various trades – worked at a fishing lodge in Alaska, installed solar panels in the Denver area, held jobs as a glazier and in metal work, and most recently was employed raising and tending crops.
He had a fondness for children and they idolized him. His passing is all the more poignant because earlier this year, he and Jesi Buhr met and fell in love. He embraced her and her three children, Keiran, Adrian and Zariah, but their plan to marry was not realized.
Colton had great empathy for animals of every sort and had many interests – fishing, hunting, trap shooting, snowmobiling, golf and many others.
Colton is survived by his parents, his step-mother Robin Ensley and step-siblings: Beth, Joey and Dylan, his Gramma Marla Cinnamon, Papa Bob and Gramma Jeanie Brown, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by Grandfathers Bob Ensley and Jim Cinnamon, Papa Billy Wyble and Gramma Tina (Wyble) Brown-Flockhart.
A memorial service will be held at the Delta Christian Church, 795 1600 Road, Delta, CO at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 23, 2023. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.