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Tess Sydow

I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to his or her fellow human beings.                        – Margaret Mead

Theresa Mary “Tess” Sydow, of Estes Park, died at home Wednesday, April 28, 2010. She was 79 years old. Tess was born May 6, 1930, in Montpelier, VT, to parents Hilda (Shepard) and Leroy Bishop. She graduated from St. Michael’s High School in 1948 and went on to the Bishop DeGoesbriand Hospital School of Nursing in Burlington, VT. She received her Registered Nurse certification in 1952. She served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1954. Tess met her future husband, Gunnar Sydow, while stationed at the F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne. Tess and Gunnar shared a love of the outdoors and spent many hours hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. They were married on October 24, 1954, in Binghamton, NY. Daughters Wendy and Lisa were born in South Dakota in 1956 and 1958, respectively. Tess continued her education while working and raising a family. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado in 1969, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from New Mexico State University in 1980, and become a Family Nurse Practitioner through the core program at the University of Colorado School of Nursing in 1981.

Tess was passionate about her career as a nurse. She approached her work with compassion and great insight. She was known for her delightful sense of humor and warmth. Her professional experience as an RN and Family Nurse Practitioner included staff and management roles in obstetrics, surgical nursing, emergency medicine, addiction rehabilitation, psychiatric nursing, hospital administration, and family practice. During her life, Tess resided in Vermont, Wyoming, New York, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and New Mexico. Since their original meeting in Wyoming, she and Gunnar longed to return to the Rocky Mountains and did so in 1966 when they moved to Golden, CO. She moved to Estes Park in 1976 and, except for a brief absence to complete her education, was happy to call Estes her home for the remainder of her life. Tess took great pleasure in the beautiful surroundings of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park and was delighted to get regular visits to her home by the area’s resident wildlife, including “Bobby,” the bobcat who peered in the window occasionally. She was particularly fond of wolves and strongly supported their protection.

Tess is survived by daughters Wendy Sydow of Lafayette, CO, and Lisa Sydow and her partner Beth Smith of Boulder, CO; granddaughter Maya Poulter of Boulder; sister Elinor Bagalio and husband Jack of Montpelier, VT; Delores Peloquin and husband Roger of Springfield, VT; brother Michael Bishop and wife Claudia of Camarillo, CA; sister-in-law Shirley Sydow of Canoga Park, CA; many nieces and nephews; as well as her deeply loved cats, Cosmo and Bella. She was preceded in death by Gunnar Sydow, her husband of 55 years, her parents, and a brother.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pet Association of Estes Park, a non-profit organization that works to find homes for stray and abandoned pets and educates the community about the humane treatment of animals, or Defenders of Wildlife, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of native animals and plants in their natural communities, in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 1302 Graves Avenue, Estes Park, CO 80517. See to view Tess’s obituary and send a message to her family.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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