Recognized worldwide as, “the man in the kilt”, Dan Sillers, 87, died on December 14, 2014 completing a life well-lived and thoroughly decorated with friends and accomplishments.
Posted on 12/23/14
Born in the farming community of Calvin, North Dakota on November 30, 1927, Dr. Sillers achieved a BS at Minot State Teachers College, a MA in Counseling from the University of North Dakota and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver. He served as the Director of Counseling at the American Institute of Research in Washington, D.C. and Manager of Professional Development for the Martin-Marietta Corporation in Baltimore, Maryland before becoming the sixth president of Jamestown College (now Jamestown University) in Jamestown, North Dakota. He was regarded as one of the most innovative educators in the country, known for his strong advocacy of the Library-College concept, which embodied Dr. Sillers’ goal to create students whose world-view “was influenced by reason but not swayed by prejudice”. While president of Jamestown College, he broadened the diversity of the student body and increased the proportion of faculty holding doctoral degrees. After leaving Jamestown, Dr. Sillers continued to teach, moving to Washington, D.C., where he became Professor of Psychology at the University of the District of Columbia. Taking early retirement from teaching, Dr. Sillers blended his drive to nurture and care for others with his creative entrepreneurial skills when he founded Argus Home Care, Pueblo, Colorado then founded Argus of Colorado Home Health, Denver, which became one of the largest home health care organizations in the state.
Dan Sillers was a man of honor who enjoyed hard work as much as good times with others. He was always interested in the welfare of others, offering his insight, humor and energy as a Teacher, Principal, Dean of Students, Consultant, even serving as Supply Pastor for several smaller churches in Colorado and North Dakota. He leaves a legacy of generosity, positive thinking and innovation, as well as, a deep love of family and friends.
Dan is survived by his wife, Iva Lou Bailey; two daughters and their spouses: Marsha (Doug) Okland of Missoula, Montana and Mary (Ellis) Manning of West Chester, Pennsylvania; first wife, Bonnie Bateman Sillers; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a small vegetable garden of which he was fiercely proud.
A wake will be held to celebrate Dan’s life and spirit at a date to be determined. For now, a toast to Dan that he often gave to us:
May those that love us, love us
May those that don’t love us, love us
And for those that may not love us,
May God turn their hearts
And if She may not turn their hearts,
May She turn their ankles
So that we may know them by their limping.