Vail Daily obituary: Kelly Hethcote, 1951-2014 |

Vail Daily obituary: Kelly Hethcote, 1951-2014

Kelly Hethcote — also known as Kelly Thomas — at the KZYR studio in 1988.

Kelly Thomas Hethcote died peacefully Friday at his home on Eby Creek Mesa near Eagle. He was 62.

Kelly was born June 9, 1951, to Tom and Shirley Couch in Scottsbluff, Neb.

After the death of his father, Kelly and his mother moved to San Jose, Calif. In 1955, Shirley married Gene Hethcote and moved to Holyoke.

As a youth, Kelly was involved in the local Methodist church, Cub Scouts and school sports. He played baseball and football in high school. He and stepbrother Tom Hethcote also formed a popular local band, The Peytons.

After high school, Kelly attended and graduated from Colorado State University, earning a degree in journalism and theater arts. Working as “Kelly Thomas” behind the microphone, Kelly’s radio career began in Greeley and led him to stations in Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, Steamboat Springs and, eventually, Vail.

Kelly’s work in radio led to a career in sales of satellite monitoring and programming systems and was at the forefront of the development of technology that led to satellite-provided programming for multiple radio stations.

Kelly and Monica Hastert were married in 1983. The couple celebrated their 30th anniversary in August. Kelly and Monica moved to the Vail Valley in 1988, where Kelly took a job as the music director and on-air personality at local radio station KZYR.

The couple were blessed in 1998 with the birth of their twins, son Ryan and daughter Maddy. Both are high school sophomores, Ryan at Vail Christian High School and Maddy at Eagle Valley High School.

Kelly is survived by his wife, Monica, daughter Maddy and son Ryan. He is also survived by his mother, Shirley, of Holyoke; brother Tom and sister-in-law LaRae; niece Kasie Smith and nephew Trevor Hethcote, all of Holyoke.

He was preceded in death by his fathers, Tom Couch and Gene Hethcote, as well as grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Nolde; Mr. and Mrs. Forest Hethcote; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Townsend; and Mr. and Mrs. Romie Compton.

Kelly is also survived by brother-in-law John Hastert and sister-in-law Lisa (Hastert) Bayles and husband Carl, of Wyoming, sister-in-law Mary Catherine Hastert and husband Steve Platten, of Texas, sister-in-law Martha Hastert Simmonds and husband Paul, of California, sister-in-law Margaret (Hastert) Wolf and husband, Griff, and mother-in-law Margaret Hastert, of Ohio.

A memorial service will be held later this year. In lieu of flowers, the family is establishing an account for the twins’ college education at Alpine Bank in Avon.

Support Local Journalism