June 18th, 1969 - November 30th, 2022
Thomas Hendrix Day was born to Bonner and Lillian (Jansen) Day on June 18, 1969, in Fairfax, Virginia. He grew up in Arlington, Virginia with his sisters Chris and Cindy and their pets throughout the years (Princess the dog, Blackie the cat, and Bingo the dog). He graduated from Yorktown High School in 1987 and received a bachelor’s degree in history from James Madison University in Virginia in 1992. One of the nonacademic gifts from college was many lifelong friendships, including from his fraternity, AXP.
One of Tom’s childhood adventures was an eight-week cross-country trip that his mother took him and his sisters on, from Virginia to California and back. That trip planted the seed for an appreciation of travel and after his first trip to Europe in 1994, he caught the travel bug. With a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine as staples in his backpack, he spent a month hitchhiking and traveling by train in and around France. Over the course of his lifetime, he visited 19 countries in Europe (as well as a few in Central and South America), finding his heart most closely tied to Germany for its landscape, culture, and efficiencies. Tom was known to passionately engage people in tales of European train travel, something he felt was sorely missing in the U.S.A. He also had an affinity for art, visiting dozens of museums and studying art history.
Tom moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1995 and grew deep roots after 27 years. For six of those years, he lived in a one-room cabin in the nearby mountain town of Rollinsville with Tiesa, his beloved Golden Retriever-Great Pyrenees. Colorado fueled his love of the mountains and outdoor activities like cross-country and telemark skiing. You could find him “scooting” through the trees in his unique retro ski attire. All the while he worked as a title examiner at Land Title in Boulder, which offered an out-of-the-box extension to his history degree.
Music played an enormous role in Tom’s life. He learned piano in second grade and cultivated that talent through his life, playing keyboard in several bands (most recently Blue Sun and Hey Lady). He also played organ and bass guitar, though he gave his guitar away to focus exclusively on the keys. Sitting at his piano at home was his meditation and he filled the house with all sorts of tunes. He was always sharing music and introducing people to new bands, his most recent discoveries being Turkuaz, Passenger, and Khruangbin. And there was all the traveling with the Grateful Dead in his red VW bus, selling grilled cheese sandwiches for a buck in the parking lot and becoming part of another beautiful lifelong community.
In July 2004, Tom married Christine (Moniak) Day, with whom he shared a deep love of travel, nature, music, art (which Tom instilled in her), and watching comedies. He also taught Christine to be a brave and graceful telemark skier as well as a coffee snob. Among their favorite travel journeys together were Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
On October 10, 2010, their son Kevin Hendrix Day was born. Tom had a boundless love for Kevin. He passed on his appreciation of music, travel, and geography and they shared an admirable knack for trivia and statistics. Together they nurtured a love for soccer. Tom was so happy when cheering on Kevin at his soccer games, while at home they followed the Bundesliga and Premier leagues and paid attention to every detail of the World Cup.
In 2018 Tom coordinated a hut-to-hut hike in Austria, guiding his family on a 20+ mile journey through the Alps, while finding opportunities to watch World Cup games among the locals at beer gardens and restaurants along their greater travel route, including a week in Munich.
In addition to being a cultural explorer, he witnessed the world with curiosity and an active intellect. If you had a few minutes, you would learn more than you may have bargained for about any given subject. Christine liked to call him Tom Facts. He’d regularly come home from the library with a handful of books on all sorts of subjects. He was fully alive when bantering on philosophy, politics, and world events and anyone who engaged authentically became an instant friend. And he had a sly humor that showed up when you least expected it.
In the past two years he developed two newfound passions. One was his e-bike that took him on miles of trails in and around Boulder while listening to music on his headphones. The second was the cherry red Winnebago Solis camper van (that his friend Curly aptly named the Ruby Red Sleeper). Driving it off the lot with Kevin in the passenger seat in August 2021 was a momentous day. Together he, Christine, and Kevin camper vanned through Oregon, California, and South Dakota and experienced many weekend trips in the Rockies. Tom also had a month-long solo van journey to the East coast, visiting friends and family in Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and North Carolina in the spring of 2022. Having quality time to connect with his roots brought him a feeling of contentment.
He was so thrilled when his niece Caitlin and nephew Nick recently moved to Colorado, and he had been looking forward to his sister Cindy joining the Colorado Day family this summer. He found much joy in time with family, including the California Day clan whose Mexican roots instilled a love of the culture and food, especially tamales and enchiladas (Tom’s potluck specialty).
Tom will be dearly and deeply missed by so many. He will forever remain in our hearts, and we will be able to feel his spirit breathe in the Colorado mountains, in quaint European cities, and of course, through the power of music.
He is survived by his son Kevin Day and wife Christine Day (Boulder, CO), sisters Christina Day (Arlington, VA) and Cindy Schall (Falls Church, VA) and nieces Caitlin Schall Sturgis (Centennial, CO) and Catie Dougherty (Arlington, VA), nephews Nick Schall (Littleton, CO) and William Dougherty (Arlington, VA), and his father Bonner Day and stepmother Bonnie Day (Maurertown, VA). May he be reunited with his mother Lillian Day who passed away in 2002 and who he has missed every day since.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Kevin Day College Fund: https://gofund.me/6f31bd78