Tom Gootz

Tom Gootz 68, passed away peacefully at his home in Estes Park on September 8, 2021, where he resided since 2010. Tom was born to Eleanor (Kells) and Donald Gootz on December 6, 1951 in Albany, New York. Tom received his Bachelor of Science degree from The State University of New York at Albany. He earned his Ph. D. in medical microbiology from Creighton University in 1981. After completing post doctoral studies at the University of Washington, Tom joined the Anti-infective research Division of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Groton, Connecticut where he worked as a discovery scientist for 27 years. He had over 100 peer reviewed publications and presentations and was an established research scientist in the field of antimicrobial research, with several patents. He served on the editorial board for the journal “Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.” During this time, he used his scientific training to study the natural world and became involved in open space preservation. He served as President of the Deep River Land Trust in Connecticut for six years. He was a director of the Association for Responsible Development in Estes Park, where he tried to advocate for a balance between development and the preservation of undeveloped areas for the benefit of people and wildlife. Tom was also an avid golfer, interested in nature photography from his travels around the world, and used his images to teach about wildlife preservation in his writings and lectures. Tom spent considerable time over his career reading and learning about the natural world and was deeply committed to teaching others about wildlife and wild places, particularly regarding the threats to our environment coming from climate change. In 2014 Tom published a book with the Friends of the Estes Park Museum, entitled “Transformation in Rocky Mountain National Park: Effects of Climate Change and Human Intervention.” The book covered issues of local interest regarding the ecology of Rocky Mountain National Park. Tom’s death was preceded by those of his parents and brother, Victor Gootz of Nassau, NY. He is survived by his friend Irrina Johnson, sister-in-law Patricia Gootz of Nassau, NY, several cousins, and his former wife Maureen Gootz of Estes Park.

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