Monday, July 31, 2017
John Thomas “Tom” Kiplinger
Dec. 24, 1928 - July 29, 2017
McCOOK, Neb. — John Thomas “Tom” Kiplinger, of McCook, passed away Saturday, July 29, 2017, at Community Hospital. He was 88 years old.
Tom was born on Dec. 24, 1928, in McCook to parents, Lloyd Addison and Alice (Bauer) Kiplinger. After his father’s death, mother and son resided with his grandparents, Jacob and Elizbeth Bauer. Tom graduated from McCook High School in 1946, attended college in Fort Collins, Colo., and graduated from Colorado State University in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.
Tom was inducted into the Army Feb. 14, 1951, during the Korean Campaign. He served in the infantry and later in the Veterinary Corps. He was honorably discharged on Feb. 14, 1953, and returned to McCook.
Tom held several jobs in the next four years, including Burlington Railroad, Farmers Home Administration in Oberlin, Kan., a lending agency of the U.S. Government, McCook P.C.A., as a bookkeeper, City of McCook, and returning to Production Credit Association as manager for the next 11 years. He enjoyed working with the ranchers and farmers, helping work out their financial needs and setting out goals for their future success.
In 1969, he resigned to become a full-time rancher, an enterprise that started in 1958, which had grown large enough to require his full attention.
A thread was woven into his life in 1940 with the acquisition of the first pony. This thread was never broken. The admiration of horses, cattle, and the open country were the driving force throughout his lifetime. No matter which school or occupation at the time, by the end of the day, it was always back to the horses. This, of course, led to the ranching business which occupied nearly the next 40 years of his life. When the ranching load became burdensome, he sold down his interests to accommodate Father Time. He had previously devised a plan to use the proceeds of the sell-off to build a horse arena in McCook after his demise. With constant urging and shoving from special friend, Trudy Nelson, a new plan evolved. The new arena was completed in 2003 and is being used extensively at this time. The building was dedicated to “Alice Kiplinger” his mother and business partner of many years.
Tom was a member of the Colorado State Rodeo Team in the late 1940s and served on the Red Willow County Fair Board, was on the Board of Directors of the McCook Building and Loan, a member of the American Legion and served on the executive Board of the National Senior Professional Rodeo Association. He was also a Gold Card Member of the PRCA and NSPRA.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Lloyd and Alice Kiplinger; and maternal and paternal grandparents.
Survivors include his dear friend, Trudy Nelson of McCook; long-time caregivers, Bob and Jan Logan; close friends, Deb Lafferty and Charlie Collins, both of McCook and Deb Christy of Norton, Kan.; his dearly loved equine friend, Pardner and his many cats: and a host of friends.
Memorials may be given in his name to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, Executive Director, 101 Rodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919. Your donation will assist in providing need-based financial assistance to athletes who have been injured through their participation in professional rodeo. All donations go to fulfilling our mission of giving “a hand up” to rodeo athletes and their families due to the generosity of Justin Boots in covering all administrative costs.
Visitation will be today, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, at Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel in McCook from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Funeral services for Tom will be Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, 10:30 a.m. at the Kiplinger Arena, Red Willow Fairgrounds in McCook with Johnny Walker officiating. Private burial will be at a later time.
Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel of McCook, Nebraska is entrusted with the arrangements.