School 17


Thomas "Coach" Gribben

February 24, 1927 ~ July 24, 2018 (age 91)

Thomas “Coach” Gribben, 91, passed away July 24, 2018.  He was born February 24, 1927 to James and Irene (Petersen) Gribben in Salina, KS.  An Army veteran and member of the “Greatest Generation”, Tom served his country during WWII, stationed at the Pentagon, Washington, DC.  After the war, Tom attended Adams State College in Alamosa.  It was there he met the beautiful Barbara Mercure, the love of his life whom he married in 1949.  Their journey together lasted 69 years.   Armed with a degree in history education, Tom took his first teaching job at Pagosa Springs High School.  From there he and Barbara moved to Florence, CO, which became their home.  It was here that Tom’s education career and family life took off and he became “Coach Tom”.  During this time he taught history, coached, became the vice-principal and athletic director at Florence High School before ending his career as principal of Penrose School in Penrose, CO.  Tom was an active member of the community belonging to St. Benedict’s Parish and the Elk’s Club. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; children, Thomas (Lois) Gribben of Pueblo; Janet (Richard) Fischer of Colorado Springs; siblings, Betty Jean Buehler, Jim Gribben, Nancy (Dick) Stanton, Sharlene (Ray) Voelker, Robert (Jeannie) Erickson; grandchildren, Scott (Allison), Stacie (Scottie), Shannah, Jessica (Auggie), Bobby, Kinsey and great-grandchildren, Jake, Olivia and Declan as well numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Kathyrn; son, John and brother Kenny.  A celebration of life will be held at 10:00 A.M., Monday, July 30th at Fremont Middle School, 215 Maple, Florence, CO., with a reception to follow at the Elks Club, In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Coach Tom Gribben Scholarship Fund. The family would like to thank Sunrise Living Center, Suncrest Hospice, Jane Ann Carver, Dr. McGarry, Joanna Angel and staff as well as Fox Drug for their care. Arrangements entrusted to Harwood Funeral Home. Online condolences at  

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