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Tom Colonnese

Dec. 18, 1950 – Jan. 13, 2023

Tom loved history, literature, animals, college football, Coca-Cola, Tetris and over-cooked meats of all types. He was born on Dec. 18, 1950, in Charles City, Iowa, to parents Betty and Anthony Colonnese. Tom nearly shared a birthday with his brother, Anthony Jr., who was three years his senior. He earned a high school diploma from Charles City High School, an undergraduate degree in history and a master’s degree in English from Northern Iowa University, and a doctorate in English from Arizona State University.

Tom Colonnese
Tom Colonnese

Tom married Kathleen Hinton in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1976. In 1981 he began his career at Northern Arizona University as an English professor and later an Assistant Athletic Director. In Flagstaff, Arizona, Tom and Kathleen had two children, Kristin and Nicholas. In 1993 he took a position at the University of Washington working in Minority Affairs, and later, in American Indian Studies. Tom was a popular professor at both NAU and UW. His classes would quickly reach capacity, usually being completely full only an hour or two after registration opened.

In 2010, Tom married his second wife, Alison Wheatley, and gained two step-sons, Nathaniel and Jesse Crawford.

Tom would work over 20 years at the University of Washington, retiring in 2015. He enjoyed his golden years, which were mostly full of reading his favorite books, watching football, and having brunches and dinners with his children.

Tom peacefully passed away on January 13, 2023. He is survived by his two children, Kristin (Michael Babani) and Nicholas (Andriana Dul), his large extended family, many cousins, countless friends, and beloved granddaughter Willa. On March 26, 2023 a celebration of life was held for Tom in Seattle, Washington. Many attended, exchanging stories of how Tom touched their lives.

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