Tom died from acute alcohol intoxication
Many people in our Rodeo Family have come before us, some have already passed. Today is no different. There is not one that has parted that hasn't touched an individual or an organization in his or her special way. We gather today in the middle of this Arena to pay tribute to one of those Special Individuals who earlier this year passed away unexpectedly... Mr. Tom Lott.
Tom was a dedicated man to the sport of Gay Rodeo and IGRA.
Tom was born in Akron, Ohio in 1942. After graduating from high school he enrolled in the Army's ROTC program and attended college -- at the army's expense -- graduating with master's degrees in chemistry, business accounting and systems analysis.
Tom spent the next 20 years serving as an officer in the US Army. One of his first assignments was -- as he liked to call it -- babysitting the US stock of nuclear weapons in Germany.
Later, he spent 2 tours in Viet Nam. During his second tour, as a chemical officer, he was in charge of the Agent Orange defoliation program for the entire country.
When Tom first met his life partner, Frank, in 1983, Tom's job was running the real life equivalent of the super computer, WOPR depicted in the film "War Games" released that same year. However Tom's machine wasn't connected to any weapons, it just analyzed battle scenarios to the tune of several thousand pages of printouts per run.Tom and Frank first connected when Tom answered Frank's ad in the Washington Blade for a roommate to share rent. Tom wasn't looking for a roommate, but they hit it off right away and it wasn't long before they had moved in together.
After retiring from the Army, Tom went to work for SAIC as a government contractor, where one of his more interesting jobs was cost annalist for the military's project of safely disposing of the US stockpile of mustard gas.
Tom and Frank attended their first gay rodeo here in Denver in 1996 when RMRR was still over at the Coal Creek Arena. Since then Tom and Frank have attended over 97 IGRA rodeos. 2018 would have marked their 16th Denver rodeo.
At Frank's encouragement, in 2011 Tom became the Trustee for the Atlantic States Gay Rodeo association. Tom spent many long hours dedicated to solving people problems across IGRA.
That same year, Tom was instrumental in offering their cellar in Castle Rock, Colorado as a storage facility for the IGRA Archives. Having the Archives in their home, allowed Frank to develop the online Gay Rodeo History Project. This entire project would not have been possible without the support and dedication of Tom to both Frank and IGRA.
For those of us who knew Tom Lott well, as we release these balloons to the Heavens please know that you are dearly and deeply missed and think of them as "Just Notes' or "Just Thoughts" as you so often would send to us. WE love you and CELEBRATE the memories you have given us.