Obituary: Fred Rumford, June 9, 1933, to March 14, 2018
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Fred Rumford. Fred passed away at the age of 84 in his home on Wednesday afternoon, March 14, 2018. The irony of Fred passing on Pi Day (3/14) speaks directly to the quintessential mathematician he was. Pi is eternal and constant, just as Fred will remain in our hearts.
Fred was born on June 9, 1933, the son of Frederick Rumford and Ina Koontz in Jetmore, Kansas. The adventurous young graduate of Kansas State University indulged his passion for travel and skiing by moving to Colorado following graduation. His bride, Thea Dunn Rumford, and their children, Frederick (Fred) Rumford and Heather (Rumford) Kehoe, became one of Vail’s founding families, building a “vacation home” in 1966.
Fred and Thea, with their partners Nancy and Mauri Nottingham, were the original owners and builders of the Talisman Condominiums, which stand proudly today in what is now the heart of Vail Village. The family resided full time in Boulder, where Fred was a professor of mathematics at the University of Colorado and later at the University of Northern Colorado, but they spent every possible moment in their treasured mountain home.
Fred cultivated an insatiable passion for traveling the world with his family, so they jumped at the opportunity to move to Geneva, Switzerland, where he taught for Webster University. The family enjoyed the Alps of Switzerland, Italy and France and immersed themselves in Swiss culture, giving the family the invaluable gift of living in a foreign country.
The family farm in Kansas, where Fred was raised, nurtured his knowledge of crop farming, allowing him the freedom to take advantage of everything life had to offer. He loved that farm and was known to check the price of wheat and milo on a daily basis, as recently as Monday, even.
To most, Fred will be remembered as a pioneer of Vail. To his family, he will be remembered as a loving husband of more than 57 years, a proud father of two exceptional kids and adoring grandfather of three.
Fred is survived by his wife, Thea Dunn Rumford, of Vail; his children and their families, Frederick Rumford and his wife Crissy, of Vail; and Lilly Rumford, of Malibu, California, Heather Rumford Kehoe and her husband Chris Kehoe, Jeremiah Kehoe and Wynter Kehoe, of Eagle.
A private family reception to honor Fred’s memory will be determined at a later date.