Thomas Colman

died in Madison, Alabama, on January 13, 2013, at the age of 78.  He was born in Grand Junction, Colorado, the son of Robert Jay and Florence Leach Colman.  He graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1952.

Tom did well in his academics at the Naval Academy and spent many extra hours with radio and electrical engineering on the Juice Gang.  Upon graduation in 1956 he was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force and served as a pilot and engineer, completing his 24-year military career as the Chief of Engineering, Air Force Eastern Test Range, Patrick Air Force Base.  He then worked for McDonnell Douglas in a Safety and Product Assurance management position concerned with shuttle payloads at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and Huntsville, Alabama.  Later for SPACEHAB, the first successful commercial manned space venture, he derived much satisfaction from participating in a major project from inception to activation, and he enjoyed his close technical contacts and friendships with many European engineers.  After his retirement in 1992 Tom and his wife Betsy enjoyed gardening, reading, cooking, long daily walks, grandchildren, and cruising and visiting foreign ports.  Tom built custom gun cases and shot skeet frequently.

Survivors include his wife, Betsy Ann Bell of Madison, Alabama; sons Phillip Stephen of Blackfoot Idaho, and Edmund Wilhelm of Mandeville, Louisiana; daughter Patricia Jane Leslie of Carbondale, Colorado; and four grandchildren. 

-The Colman Family