Theodore Anthony Diedrich died at the age of 59 at his home in Estes Park, Colorado on December 11, 2014. He was a wonderful husband to Samantha for twenty-eight years and a caring father to his daughter, Erin. He took time off from his career in banking to make sure she had a good start in life. The two of them could often be seen hand in hand strolling in the streets of Frisco, Breckenridge, and Estes Park. Tad was also a great son, brother, uncle, and friend. He saw the humor in every situation, never took himself too seriously, enjoyed immensely the company of those around him, always had a clever comment, and wasn’t afraid to challenge others to think more deeply. He lived every moment to the fullest and didn’t like to plan his days in advance. We learned from him to mind our own business and not speculate about the motives of others.
Tad was born and raised in southwest Denver and decided during his college years at CSU to live and work in the mountains. He especially enjoyed hiking the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park with the waterfalls and wildlife, the ouzels and elk, the columbine and Indian paintbrush. Camping and fishing, hiking and biking were always on the list of things he wanted to do more. His bachelor party before his wedding day with Samantha included a climb to the top of Peak One, nearly 14,000 feet, with his nephews and brothers. It was a difficult descent, but you wouldn’t have known it, as he walked down the aisle at the ceremony the next day.
Tad moved to Estes Park seventeen years ago. He and Samantha donated countless hours to local projects, he was a member of the Rotary Club and assisted with local parades and the annual Duck Race. A banker and loan officer for forty years, most recently at the Bank of Estes Park, he loved his job and the ability he had to help prospective homeowners and entrepreneurs to start a new life in the mountains. This was a legacy passed down from his father and grandfathers through three generations. He supported the efforts and encouraged the dreams of hundreds of local residents. They trusted Tad to help them find a way to settle and prosper in the Colorado mountains.
A huge sports fan, Tad followed the fortunes of the local teams, and he took great pleasure in acting as the commissioner of a local fantasy football league. Most of all he enjoyed playing golf with his regular foursome at Estes Park GC and with his family and friends. Memorable stories of rounds he played at Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, Turnberry and St. Andrews found their way into his conversations in the clubhouse. He never missed a chance to pass along the lessons of the game to his nieces, nephews, and daughter, Erin: be honest, be polite, be persistent, compliment your partners, get better every day, and never give up.
He was the middle son in the family that held his older and younger brothers and sister together with his quiet strength, with his fierce independence, and his great sense of humor and acceptance. We will talk less about each other’s failings, less about our own accomplishments, and appreciate each day and each other more because of him. His spirit will live on in the memories of Samantha and Erin, also his mother, Georgia Schmid Diedrich of Colorado Springs, his sister Georgiann Lythgoe (and husband, Rich) of Colorado Springs, and his brothers, John (and wife, Viann) of Peyton, Colorado, Dan (and wife, Kate) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Paul of Sparta, Michigan.