Thomas S. Magness, 89, Monte Vista, Colo., passed away at home June 22, 2021. Tom was born Jan. 18, 1932, in Rapid City, S.D., to Cedric St. Clair and Martha Haaser Magness. His family settled in Monte Vista in the late 30’s.
After graduating from Monte Vista High School in 1950, Tom served in the US Air Force. He then started work as a lineman for the San Luis Valley Rural Electric Association in 1952. The SLVREC turned out to be his lifetime employer. He retired from there in 1994.
In 1966, Tom married Barbara (Ragland) Hargraves of Creede and became dad to her four boys. The family lived in Monte Vista in a house on 1stAvenue, which was always the scene of a famous party during the Stampede Parade.
Barbara and Tom traveled extensively before and after their retirement. They visited Australia, Italy, the UK, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Cuba, and many destinations in the United States.
Tom was active in the American Legion for many years and was a member of the NRA and the Elks. Anyone who knew him easily figured out he was a political conservative.
His friends enjoyed his quick wit. Those who met him for the first time, soon realized that his gruff demeanor was a cover for the “good guy” that he was. Tom dedicated much of his time in retirement to taking care of many of his friends and family members as they aged.
He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, his brother Jim Magness and sister Marion Ebel.
He is survived by his sister Catherine Owens; his stepsons Creede Hargraves (Therese) of Creede and son Joshua Hargraves; Orin Hargraves of Niwot, Colo.; Wiley Hargraves (Christina) of Melbourne, Australia, children; Jesse, Jacob, Simon Hargraves, Lily White; and Brian Robinson of Oceanside, Calif. He is also survived by nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank those friends who stayed in touch with Tom as his health failed in the last few years. They would also like to thank those who provided care for him until the end so that he could stay in his home.
Tom donated his body to science. At his request there will be no memorial service, but a Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2021,from 3-5 p.m. at 31 Dunham St. in Monte Vista. All who knew Tom are invited to attend and reminisce.