Obituary: Thomas Bull Dodd, Jr.
November 8, 1942 – June 30, 2022
Thomas Bull Dodd, Jr, left this life for his next adventure on June 30, 2022. He passed away at his beloved cabin on Ptarmigan Mountain in Silverthorne surrounded by his children who handed him off to God and their mom, his cherished wife of 60 years, Kelly, who preceded him in death by only ten months. We hope they were ready for him.
Born in Aurora, IL on November 18, 1942, to Thomas Bull Dodd, Sr and Elizabeth Anderson Dodd, the family moved to Denver when Tom was a toddler. Born with a thirst to roam and explore and create mischief, his desperate parents designed a tether attached to the clothesline to contain him soon after he could walk. It was for everyone’s benefit.
Tom grew up in the Washington Park neighborhood and met the love of his life, Kelly Kerin, at South High School when he tried to cheat off her paper in Mrs. Goldberg’s English class. She let him, and they both got in trouble. Thus began a love than spanned more than six decades.
Tom was a natural athlete and excelled at many sports – skiing, soccer, tennis, and, at 6’3” tall was an unlikely but successful gymnast – winning the Colorado State High School title on the pommel horse in 1961. Tom was also an accomplished sailor – teaching himself to sail on the reservoirs in Colorado and then taking it to the sea where he learned some hard lessons about changing tides.
Living up to his middle name, Tom was stubborn and not much of a rule enthusiast. Although he was able to charm his way out of most every scrape with a No Trespassing sign, the rules of physics and gravity weren’t as easily bent to his will. See above comment regarding changing tides. The phrase “Tom, you’re going to hit the bridge” became the family’s go-to warning cry any time he was pushing the boundaries of the physical world.
In business, Tom followed his father into commercial insurance. After leaving insurance, he took an interlude to sail the Sea of Cortez and then worked as a ranch hand in Utah, where he penned letters containing tall tales to his grandson. Later in his life, these letters turned into a children’s book, “The Legend of the Loboteeny”. Upon returning to Colorado, Tom and Kelly relocated to the Western Slope and established a successful publishing company called Table Top Bits. Tom sold the advertising space to local merchants and Kelly created most of the content based upon her and Tom’s life as parents and partners. Kelly referred to Tom’s character in these tales, very tongue-in-cheek, as Mr. Wonderful.
Mr. Wonderful had a great heart for people and his superpower was bringing people together for adventure, shenanigans and fun. He loved pranking his friends and family and, for reasons only he knew, his pranks often included fish. Tom arranged everything from camping, fishing and river tips, to bed races at Fruita’s Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, to chair races in the snow on Ptarmigan Mountain just for the fun of it; he attached skis to the bottoms of armchairs, handed participants a helmet, and pointed them down the mountain. As always, there was food and drink and laughter at Tom and Kelly’s house after the races.
Tom and Kelly were young parents and became young grandparents – watching two of their grandchildren walk down the aisle and start families of their own. They were very active in the lives of their seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren, sharing their warmth and wisdom and humor and their love of the outdoors.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Bill, and his beloved Kelly. He is survived by his sister, Janet, his children Tom (Donna), Kerin and Angela, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, his trusty Labrador Retriever, Peyton (who has found his new human in Tom & Kelly’s great granddaughter Maeson), and many friends and family who will all dearly miss his heart, his humor and his light.
Services will be held on Saturday, August 20th at 8:30am at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 89 Smith Ranch Road in Silverthorne, followed by an epic Celebration of Life gathering at a location to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Shaw Cancer Center, serving patients and their families in Summit and Eagle Counties at donate.vailhealthfoundation.org.
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