Thomas Danton Funeral
Rosary for the repose of the soul of Thomas Danton,
Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 9:30 AM
followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM.
In 1968, Tom Danton, a longtime resident of Miami, Florida, decided to travel west and visit many national parks. When he dropped over the ridge of Pole Hill and into the overwhelming view of Estes Park and its magnificent surrounding mountains, he thought “This is my place on earth.” He knew then that here was where he was meant to live and work for the rest of his life, and he would never regret that decision.
Tom was born in Miami, October 5, 1946, to Thomas William and Elizabeth Jane Danton, and he would grow up in south Florida. His Catholic Faith was always very important to him and to the rest of the family. In his early teens, Tom believed he might have a calling to be a priest, and for the next ten years he dedicated himself to studying for the Priesthood. Finally convinced that the Priesthood was not his calling, he left the seminary just before ordination. Years later he served as sacristan, lector, and Eucharistic minister in various parishes and became a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
In 1970 his draft number came up and he enlisted in the Air Force. Soon he was sent to Vietnam to teach English to Vietnamese military personnel (an interesting job!). Upon returning to the states, he began working as a volunteer in Rocky Mountain National Park, a task and park he loved. His goal was to become a Park Ranger, and in 1973 he was hired by RMNP and began his 30 years career as a Park Ranger in a variety of parks.
His career found him working in several natural parks such as Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, and Saguaro National Parks. However most of his assignments involved the presidential homes of Washington, Lincoln, Garfield, Hoover, Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and other presidents, and Tom really enjoyed studying and sharing the lives of historical figures.
While working in Grand Teton National Park, Tom met his future wife, Vickie Landis, in the Catholic Church of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They were married a year later in January, 1983. Tom and Vickie adopted two children, a boy, David, and a girl, Katherine, who have further enlarged the family with five grandchildren.
In 2003, Tom retired from being a park ranger to provide time for assisting his aging parents. Tom’s Dad was 92 with blindness and a broken hip and femur; his Mom needed help caring for her beloved
husband of 63 years. Tom moved in with his parents in Estes Park, where he always hoped to retire eventually. He landed part time work at the Stanley Hotel giving tours and operating the Stanley Museum gift shop. He also drove for the Estes Park Shuttle occasionally. Always on his mind was the search for a home in Estes Park where his family would be together again. Finally in 2008, Vickie retired from teaching and moved permanently to Estes. The family was getting together again.
Despite numerous illnesses, Tom experienced a wonderful retirement. With Vickie, he travelled to Rome to see Pope Benedict XVI and the splendors of Roman and Church history and of Vatican City. They also took tours to Alaska, Disney World, New England, and Canada.
Some things can never be finished. Tom died March 1, 2019. A Funeral Mass Celebration will be held at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church on Saturday, March 9th, 2019. The Mass will be followed by a luncheon in the gathering room below the Church. All are welcome. A final service will then take place at the cemetery off Fall River Road. In lieu of flowers, Tom suggested that donations be made to Partners Mentoring Youth of Estes Park, PO Box 484, Estes Park, CO 80538
4376 Suncreek Dr
Loveland, CO 80538
on Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00AM