Thomas E. Congdon
Born September 13, 1926 in Duluth, Minnesota, Tom Congdon developed an abiding love for Colorado and the City of Denver where he prospered as a businessman and philanthropist. After luring his beloved Noël Robbins west from New York City, Tom and Noël raised 3 daughters in Denver and Aspen — Chelsea, Natasha and Lucy.
A graduate of the Hill School of Pennsylvania (1944), Tom enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 and subsequently earned degrees at Yale University (1950) and Harvard Business School (1952). His career in mineral exploration began with Climax Molybdenum Company and grew into several business partnerships including CoCa Mines which developed silver and gold mines in the western US and Canada. Tom also steered a small family-held oil and gas company, St. Mary Parish Land Company, to become a thriving publicly-traded company 30 years later, now known as SM Energy.
Tom enjoyed sailing, travel, art, music, philanthropy and dabbled in cooking and watercolor all of which he shared eagerly with his wife and family. Tom and Noël together contributed generously to the growth of some of Denver’s proudest projects and programs including development of historic Larimer Square, the Denver Art Museum, Denver Symphony, Denver Scholarship Foundation and Colorado Public Radio as well as the Aspen Music Festival and School and Colorado Rocky Mountain School. A colorful storyteller, Tom published his memoir in 2018 to share with his grandchildren who delighted him. He was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame benefitting Junior Achievement Colorado on January 31, 2019.
Tom is survived by the light of his life and wife of 60 years Noël, daughters Chelsea Brundige (James), Lucy Hanson (Charlie) and four grandchildren Tashi, Miles, Harper and Lark. His daughter Natasha passed away at age 17. Of all of Tom’s accomplishments, his greatest joy and pride was with his family.
In lieu of flowers, Tom would be honored to have donations made to the Denver Scholarship Foundation, 789 Sherman Street, Denver 80203, denverscholarship.org.
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