Fallen officer, Grant Thomas, remembered by family, friends
Last week Grand County was touched by tragedy with the untimely passing of Probation Officer Kenneth Grant Thomas.
Thomas, who went by the first name Grant, was just 50 years old on Oct. 25 when a heart attack ended his life. Thomas’s passing leaves behind a grieving family, including his wife Julie, as well as three children, two grandchildren and his mother, Wilma, and a reeling community of criminal justice professionals.
Thomas’s wife of 20 years, Julie Thomas, fought back tears as she described her partner to Sky-Hi News as “an absolutely amazing man.”
“Anybody who ever met Grant always fell in love with him,” Julie said. “He had a great heart and was very quick witted. He made people laugh all the time. I never met a person that didn’t like him.”
Thomas, who grew up in Walden, started his career in the criminal justice world as a corrections officer in the Grand County Jail in the 1990s. Fraser-Winter Park Police Chief Glen Trainor was with the Grand County Sheriff’s Department in those days and originally hired Thomas for corrections work.
Trainor called Thomas a “wonderful person” and noted Thomas rose through the ranks at the jail and eventually become jail administrator.
In 2005, Thomas left detentions to begin his career as a probation officer, signing on with the 14th Judicial District and working from Hot Sulphur Springs. In 2010, he was promoted to probation supervisor for Grand and Routt Counties and oversaw the work of six probation officers under his authority. His service to probations was remembered by 14th Judicial District Chief Probation Officer Tim Griffith.
“Grant was a selfless leader who genuinely cared about people and put others ahead of himself,” Griffith stated. “He was a role model for our clients as well as our staff members, and he enjoyed helping people make positive changes in their lives. We’re all better for having known Grant, and he is truly missed.”
Thomas was an avid angler, hunter and golfer in his spare time and had an especially close connection with his golden retriever Bella, who Thomas would walk twice a day.
“He loved her so much,” Julie said poignantly. “She is lost without him.”
Thomas’ family elected not to hold either a funeral or a viewing of their beloved Grant and instead will hold a celebration of life from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 19 at the Extension Hall in Kremmling.
Grand County’s first responder community held a procession ceremony last Thursday in Hot Sulphur Springs before Thomas made his journey to his final resting place. Thomas was brought home by funeral process, passing under a massive American flag draped between the ladders of two fire engines as sections of the highway in Hot Sulphur were lined with mourners.
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Firefighters plan to begin burning slash piles at several locations on Bureau of Land Management-managed lands within the Kremmling Field Office’s jurisdiction when conditions allow.