Obituary: Thomas Stuver
August 24, 2021
From Sharon Center, Ohio, Thomas Stuver attended Dartmouth College (Class of ’69). He then volunteered for Americorps VISTA, where he served communities in Wyoming and married his wife, Elizabeth, of over 50 years. After earning his JD from Case Western University Law School, they came to Colorado where he passed the bar exam while working construction for Cal Caliva. He joined Bill Mason’s law firm in Rifle in 1973, which later became his firm with (variously): Russell George, Melody Massih, Barbara Clifton, and Daniel Lemoine (who now continues the firm with Tim Graves).
Beyond his extensive work as an attorney – including representing the Rifle Hospital, School, and Fire Districts – he gave countless hours in leadership and counsel to the Downtown Development Authority and Garfield Youth Services (as a founding member of both), the Rifle Community Foundation, the Western Colorado Community Foundation, the New Ute Theater Society, Community Newspapers of Colorado (which facilitated the installation of many local bronze sculptures), and was instrumental in bringing the VA Hospital to Rifle. Additionally, he supported Elizabeth’s work in early childhood education at the Children’s House Preschool and her efforts in cultural enrichment with the Bookcliffs Arts Council.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Though he could be a formidable opponent if you stood on the other side of a civic issue or court case, he far preferred to give back to his town rather than ‘owning’ any adversaries, and building community over burning any supposed enemies. His legacy is felt in every place he lived and left better than he found it.
He passed peacefully at home on August 24, 2021, with loved ones nearby. He leaves behind many great friends in Rifle and beyond, as well as: his wife in Fallbrook, CA, where they (partially) retired in 2013; their daughter Cameron and son-in-law Greg Moody in Lexington, MA, his grandson, Ian, who is entering high school there, and his granddaughter, Callie, who is attending his alma mater, Dartmouth; his son Mark, daughter-in-law Kristin Esposito, and grandson Elio Esposito-Stuver, who all three live between Brooklyn, NY and Venice, CA.
The family is planning a memorial; further information will be given to their Rifle community as soon as it is available.
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