Nebolo to nečakané. Ale aj tak to bolí. Thom vo štvrtok zomrel a dnes mal pohreb (pozerali sme ho v našej kuchyni online).
(Začína to byť podozrivé, ako som vždy na druhej strane Atlantiku, keď mi zomierajú blízki ľudia…)
S Thomom bola vždy zábava a bol za každú blbosť. (Asi aj preto) mal neskutočnú schopnosť skamarátiť sa prakticky s kýmkoľvek. Boli sme si blízki, aj keď sme boli veľmi málo spolu.
Rok som u nich bývala počas strednej školy (naučil ma šoférovať, dláždiť príjazdovú cestu, robiť omelety, kopu anglických slovných hračiek… akurát chmaty na sebaobranu sa na mňa akosi nechceli nalepiť) a odvtedy sme boli v kontakte. Prišla som jemu a Julie ukázať Miša jedno leto počas vysokej školy (s Mišom hneď našli spoločnú reč nad kýblom zmrzliny). Oni nám potom prišli na svadbu. Na chvíľu k nám vyslali svoju dcéru Cami, keď sme prvýkrát bývali v New Yorku, potom sa prišli pozrieť, keď sa narodil Kubo. Jedno rande po rokoch sme si dali v Dolomitoch, minulé vianoce sme išli za ním a Julie do Colorada:A potom už len ja na to krehké stretnutie v Denveri predtým, než sme sa opäť sťahovali na Slovensko. Ak si odmyslím ten rok v Cheyenne Wells, tak na vyše 20 rokov, čo sme sa poznali, tých stretnutí nebolo veľa. Ale volali sme, písali, posielali si obrázky, vtipy a vianočné krabice. Každú chvíľu sme sa o niečo stavili (bolo jedno o čo, dôležitá bola stávka samotná).
Julie to bude mať teraz ťažké. Ale Thom bude chýbať veľmi veľa ľuďom, vrátane nás.
Thomas Elliott, the Phillips County Sheriff and longtime resident of Holyoke, Colorado, was born in Denver on December 2, 1964, to Franklin Paul Elliott and Doris Jean (Thompson) Elliott. He was the fifth of their six children, five of which were boys. So just imagine the chaos that ensued and perhaps that’s where Thom developed his unique sense of humor.
Thom’s smile shone so bright you could feel it over the phone. When Thom walked into a room, he blasted his infectious smile and everyone in the room knew they would enjoy the coming interaction. Those of us known as “Love Chop, Princess, Love Muffin, Cup Cake”, or even “My Sweet”, can attest to that. Thom extended that sense of humor to everyone he could. Assuming, of course it wasn’t Sheriff Elliott.
Thom took his life’s work in law enforcement seriously. He started his career in the Army as a Military Policeman. He loved his service, but it was decidedly not his life’s career choice. He attended Arapaho Community College Police Academy and started his civilian career at Cheyenne County. He worked there for 11 years before coming to his Forever home in Phillips County. Thom upheld the constitutional rights of all people in the county, regardless of which side of the law they were on. While he spoke out against wrongs, he did not believe that law enforcement was all about writing tickets. He wanted law enforcement to be part of the community, to put a supportive and friendly face to the uniform. One local young man will remember Thom stopping him for speeding and being asked, ‘Give me one good reason why I should not write you a ticket.’, to which the young man responded ‘Because you love me!’ There was no ticket issued. Thom laughed about that interaction for over a decade. He loved working with kids and showing them that side of law enforcement. A lot of the kids in the community can attest that when they got their driver’s license, Thom would want to see it saying “You can show me now, or you can show me later.” Some chose option B and Thom enthusiastically obliged, finding some minuscule reason to see their license.
He was the king of useless trivia about various and sundry topics, including every country’s flag for the past 50 years. The worst he ever did was ‘either this country or that country’, but it was always one of them! Thom enjoyed Medieval history (particularly during the Black Plague eras), WWII history, military armament, and anything aviation. Julie never learned to not ask “How do you know that?”; the response to which was always ‘that’ look. He could remember names of places they visited during their annual camping trips from two decades ago. But, don’t ask him someone’s name – that information did NOT stick. Had you asked him to bet you on anything at all, for a coke, he would have happily taken your bet. It didn’t even matter if he had a clue about the subject. He just loved the interaction and sport even though he usually lost.
Thom and Julie were married on May 22, 1993. They had a special love that shone through the tests and trials of life. Camille joined this loving family two years later in May of 1995. The three of them shared their love of life, God, and each other. They embraced bringing additional members into the family via foreign exchange students. They also loved to host people overnight in their home and at one time accounted for over 70 individuals who found a bed, sofa, or recliner to spend the night. He greatly enjoyed his adopted role as ‘door man’ at St. Patricks’ Catholic Church, greeting every individual as they came in and recruiting altar servers as needed.
It has been said that God gives the hardest battles to the strongest warriors. In January of 2021, Thom engaged in one of those battles, along with his beloved family. He strived to put a positive attitude to his battle. He refused to let people bring him down, confident that he prevail in the end. When traditional treatments failed, Thom embraced entering into unproven treatment options. His hope was that even if the trial treatments didn’t work, the doctors would learn something to help others. Thom’s attitude and outlook was highly praised. “Thom was clearly a man loved by many people, with a sense of humor and demeanor that brought joy to others,” stated his primary oncologist Dr. “Stud Muffin” Bair.
God’s warrior took his cancer down with him on February 16, 2023.