Thomas f. kelly
Thomas Kelly died Jan. 21, 2003, in Swarthmore, Pa. He was 81.
Thomas was born Sept. 28, 1921, in Philadelphia. Raised in poverty during the Great Depression, Thomas' father supported his family by working for the railroad.
Thomas entered the Army during World War II and served as a pilot in the South Pacific, where he flew B-25 bombers.
His plane survived heavy damage during his 13th mission, and he vowed never to pilot a plane again.
Following the war, Thomas earned a degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, Thomas started an insurance agency, married his wife, Ellen, and started a family.
In the mid-1960s, Thomas and his family skied for the first time.
A few years later, Thomas visited Steamboat Springs, where he fell in love with the Yampa Valley and the friendly town.
He purchased land in Steamboat and built a house on Laurel Lane, where many family gatherings would later take place.
Thomas and his wife visited Steamboat frequently, until poor health prevented those Western trips.
Thomas and Ellen were married for 50 years.
He was preceded in death by all of his many siblings.
Thomas is survived by his wife; two sons, Bruce of Swarthmore, Pa., and Brian of Steamboat; a daughter, Sharon, of Bow, N.H.; and six grandchildren.