Obituary of Thad Oviatt
Thad Miner Oviatt, 71, passed away on November 13, 2017 in his home, surrounded by family. Thad was born October 3, 1946 in Huron, South Dakota to Max and Margaret Oviatt. The oldest of five siblings, Thad grew up helping his father with the family dairy business. Thad took on additional responsibilities at the age of twelve when his father passed away.
Thad was a star wrestler for Huron High School. As a senior, he went undefeated and became the state heavyweight champion. He went to South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota on a wrestling scholarship, though his wrestling career was cut short by a knee injury. After graduating in 1969, he attained his JD at the University of Colorado School of Law in 1973. For most of his career, Thad was in private practice as a partner at the law firm he cofounded, Oviatt, Clark and Gross.
Thad married Lyssa Shadrick in 1967. They had their daughter, Amy Nicole, in 1970, divorcing in 1975. After a number of years together, Thad and Barb Mesinger married in 1982 and they had three more daughters: Sarah Lynn, Emily Loren Lucile and Grace Katherine.
Thad got into rugby while in law school and played tight head prop for the Boulder Rugby Club. It became an important part of his life for many years and created many lasting friendships. Thad also loved hunting, especially pheasant, and looked forward every year to his fall trips to South Dakota to hunt with his brother, cousins and long-time friends. He also loved skiing (snow and water), houseboating on Lake Powell, football (CU and Broncos), beer, camping, riding his Harley, enjoying the mountain view from his front porch, and spending time with his family and friends. He was an avid music lover, and was especially fond of the blues. Although his daughters -- as teenagers -- didn’t appreciate being awoken on Saturday mornings by their dad blaring his favorite tunes, they are all grateful that he instilled his love of music in them. Thad was a loyal and enthusiastic friend who loved parties and was a generous host. Thad was a champion hugger and excelled at comforting his daughters with a pat on the knee and a squeeze of his giant hand. Thad liked to say: “everything in moderation, including moderation.” Another motto was “You can grow old, but growing up is optional” – which he demonstrated through his propensity to give people rabbit ears when taking photos.
Thad is survived by his wife of 35 years, Barbara Oviatt, four daughters, Amy Oviatt, Sarah Jackson Oviatt (Erik Jackson), Emily Brink (Ben), Grace Hollingworth (Joss), and three grandchildren, Luke Thad Oviatt Jackson, Audrey Loren Brink and Emma Marie Oviatt Jackson. Thad is also survived by his mother and stepfather, Margaret Oviatt Tucker and Virgil Tucker, his brother Rob Oviatt (Randi), his sister Melissa Oviatt (Robert Gulley), as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Max Oviatt, brother, Charles Oviatt, and sister, Nancy Oviatt.
A celebration of life will be held Friday, December 1, 2017, 1:00 p.m., at the Gatehouse, 1055 S. 112th Street, Lafayette, CO 80026.