Thomas Eugene Durlin


Thomas Eugene Durlin died of Covid-19 on September 6, 2021 at Saint Anthony North Health Campus in Westminster, Colorado.  His daughter Ali Lightfoot was by his side.

Tom was born in Denver, Colorado on April 2, 1948 to Ruth (Jones) and Robert Durlin.

He attended parochial elementary school and Regis High School, a Jesuit institution in Denver, where he made lifelong friends.  His college studies were at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where he developed an interest in Indian music and culture through Wesleyan’s world music program. Tom learned to play the South Indian instrument Vina from a master and later traveled to India.  

Tom studied in Vienna, Austria during his sophomore year at Wesleyan where he met Marty Conklin, also a Colorado native studying at the Austro-American Institute. They married the following year, in 1969, in the Wesleyan Chapel. In 1971 their daughter Ali was born.  He remained friends with Marty after their divorce and spent many holidays and celebrations together with their family.

Tom was a lifelong Colorado resident and fisherman and took exceptional joy in an annual camping trip every summer with the Durlin family. These family get-togethers began in 1974 with Tom as chief organizer, mastermind and maestro of the event. He and his brothers, Bill and Steve, passed down their love of fishing, appreciation for the outdoors, campfires and family stories to three generations of children and grandchildren.

Tom worked with individuals with special needs and developmental disabilities, providing support and companionship for children and adults from the West Grand Alternative School and West Grand High School in Kremmling and Horizons Specialized Services in Steamboat Springs.

Tom was a devoted father, grandfather, brother and friend.  His grandchildren, Poppy and Mason Lightfoot, were the light of his life, and he never missed a single performance, game, achievement, or special event.  He relished every moment he spent with them.  

He was an avid reader, writer, artist and doting caretaker for many beloved pets.  He enjoyed conversations about philosophy, theology, history, and science, and all who knew him found him curious, friendly, generous, patient, and kind.  
He will be deeply missed by his daughter, Ali Lightfoot, his grandchildren Poppy Lightfoot and Mason Lightfoot; by his brothers Steve Durlin and Bill Durlin and his sister-in-law Marsha Durlin; by his niece Angie Durlin and her son Xavian; by his nephew Joe Durlin and wife Phoenix and their two children, Autumn and Zoey; by his cousin Larry Durlin; ex-wife Marty Durlin and by many friends, former students, and co-workers.  

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association.