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In Memory

Thomas Eugene Van Velson

February 6, 2014

Dec. 5, 1942 - Feb. 28, 2014

Raised on a farm in the western Nebraska farm community of Brule, Tom learned the value of hard work and family, lessons he carried with him for life.

Tom graduated from high school in 1960, and then attended the University of Nebraska, where he studied psychology. When drafted into the Army he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and used the computer and data processing skills he acquired in the registrar's office at the University of Nebraska.

In the early '70s Tom began a 35 year career with Colorado State University in the Department of Information Systems. Tom lived in Rist Canyon, near Fort Collins, for more than 40 years, where he tirelessly managed his forested property and raised llamas. His mountain property became one of the first enrolled in the Colorado Tree Farmer Association, which recognized Tom's dedication to healthy forest ecosystems. He was always involved in the Rist Canyon and Fort Collins communities, with his family and friends, and with his work at the university. He was a charter member of the Rist Canyon Fire Department, sang in the Larimer Chorale for more than 30 years, and loved to travel. He spent a year working and teaching in Australia as well as time he spent living and teaching in Cairo, Egypt, with further travels in Africa, South America, and Europe. He combined his interests of traveling, hiking and running. Tom's hiking accomplishments include Mt Kosciusko (Australia), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and more than thirty-five '14ers in Colorado. On one trip, Tom skied the French Alps and, over the years, he ran dozens of half marathons and 10Ks. When traveling by sea, he preferred the simplicity of freighter ship excursions to more popular travel options.

Tom was loved by many colleagues, his mountain community and his family. He will be greatly missed by his surviving families including brothers, Rod in Windsor, and Rich and John Van Velson in Brule, Nebraska, plus sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

No service is planned. Friends may send condolences to the family at