Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Troop 161 honors fallen scout


February 9, 2017

Courtesy Photo David Louwers with his four sisters at the Rocky Mountain Youth Camp.

Late last year, Boy Scout Troop 161 held their last Court of Honor for the fall. This year’s event had a room full of heavy hearts.

David Louwers, a member of the troop who was tragically killed in a plane crash last June, was posthumously given the rank of Eagle Scout.

His parents — Robert and Christina Louwers — were in attendance as David’s name was added to the plaque with the other names of the troop’s Eagle Scouts over the years.

He was also given the Spirit of the Eagle Award, which is bestowed as a posthumous recognition of a registered scout who has lost his life in an accident. David is the only Scout in Troop 161 to have passed away as a young man.

“That fall Court of Honor is where he would have otherwise received his Eagle Scout rank,” Robert said.

David was the middle of five children, with two older and two younger sisters.

He stood over 6’3” and was “still growing,” wore a size 16 shoe, and would have had his 18th birthday coming up on February 19.

David was also close to getting his pilot’s license. He was logging hours doing surveying work when the plane he was riding crashed about a mile from the runway in Creede. Two others, the pilot Jere Ferrill and Mykhayl Sutton, also perished in the crash.

David’s memory was not lost on his troop. After his flight, he was slated to head to camp to help out as a mentor to younger scouts.

Bill O’Donnell was David’s scoutmaster for several years, and had worked with him on various projects, in camps and other troop functions.

“He was an active and engaged leader in the troop,” O’Donnell said. “I don’t  know what else to say other than that David was a great kid. He was always willing to help.”

That attitude showed outside of scouts.

“He always saw the positive side of life,” Christina said. “He was able to bring people up when they were down. At the funeral, there were several stories, but there were a few girls at the school who weren’t in the ‘popular’ crowd. They used to sit with David during an open period, they’d draw each other’s faces.

“That was just David. He would help anybody. He particularly was good at lifting people up who weren’t in the ‘popular’ group, but he also had many friends who were, he kind of crossed those lines. He never saw any flaws in people, he just saw the person.

“I met a lady who said that David was the only one who treated her son as a normal person. He was able to treat people well, he saw their souls and their heart. He wasn’t one for the outside of a person.”

Outside of Scouts, David played football at Niwot High School after transferring from Twin Peaks Charter Academy, he was an altar boy at St. Luke Orthodox Church in Erie. He was active in all, including taking time to be a friend.

“David was exceptionally outgoing,” Robert said. “He had a lot of friends, he was very kind. For example, the football team was asked to go read to kids at the elementary school. He and one other player volunteered.”

At the camp David would have attended, an antique knife that the troop gives to Eagle Scouts was stuck into a piece of wood that sat by the fire throughout the week. It was presented to Robert and Christina at the Court of Honor.

“Many of his colleagues in the Troop went to camp on the day of his funeral,” Robert said. “But they all came to the service the day before in uniform."

As for the ritual at camp, Robert said that these were the reason he was passionate about Scouts.

“David looked forward to stuff like that, and they did it at the ceremony," Robert said. "It was moving. It’s just really something that is special.”

The family and the troop were happy to honor David, but his loss will always have an impact.

Courtesy Photo David with his mother Christina before his first solo flight on the way to getting his pilot's license.

“It’s pretty hard,” Christina said. “It’s harder than right at the beginning when you’re in shock and sort of numb to it all I still can’t believe it.”

“Christmas was a difficult time,” Robert added.

David’s friends visit and leave notes at his grave site, which helps comfort the family.

“We’re thankful for his friends,” Christina said. “It really helps seeing them and talking to them.

“David was bigger than life. There isn’t anyone out there who wouldn’t agree with that. He was bigger than life.”


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