Theodore "Ted" Dean Tomlinson


Theodore Dean (Ted) Tomlinson, 89, of Sheridan, WY passed away Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at Sheridan County Memorial Hospital with his daughter, Teresa, and son, Jeff by his side.

The youngest of two, Ted was born and raised on a farm in Nance County, Nebraska to Fern and Sherman Tomlinson. Ted attended various one-room schoolhouses in the Belgrade area, even attending one his father had attended in earlier years. He graduated in 1951 and registered at Kearney State College the following semester.

On June 26, 1954, Ted married his sweetheart, Jean Larie Caudill. He'd met his fiery farm girl at a country dance in Belgrade, Nebraska, and knew she was 'the one' right away. They spent Saturday nights twirling the night away. They were married for 59 years.

Also in 1954, before the United States Army could draft him, Ted did just what you would expect him to do. He enlisted, saving Uncle Sam the trouble. He served two years in Germany, then returned to the States to finish college.

Ted always valued education. He graduated in 1960 from Kearney State. He started teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, just as he had attended as a child.  From 1964-1979, he taught math, coached (and refereed), football, basketball, and track in Dix, Nebraska. Ted and Jean also started their family in Dix, adopting three children: James Lee, Teresa Dee, and Jeffrey Dow.  

Ted received his master's in educational administration in 1978 from Chadron State College and became Principal of the Burlington Public School System in 1979. After three years, the two saddled up their family and moved to Sheridan, Wyoming. They purchased the KOA Campground which the family ran for 19 successful years.  There were tractors and lawnmowers, flowers and trees planted; buildings went up and occasionally came down. Sod laid, concrete poured, and many friends made.  

Ted was a no-nonsense kind of fella. He learned early on the value of a dollar and how long it took to earn it. You could take the kid off the farm, but not the farm out of the kid. Ted was fond of his days reminiscing about the good ‘old days; playing cards around the kitchen table; milking cows on a three-legged stool and chores done well before school. Two things, however, he did not miss were chicken coups and oats! Right up until the end, Ted refused to eat eggs or oatmeal! Homemade ice cream, however, was another story. He did not have an aversion to cows. Stopping at the local cafe was always in order. Unwittingly, a young waitress was caught off guard.  “How would you like your eggs, Sir?”  Ted always replied with a sly grin and a twinkle in his eye, “In the shell.”  He preferred pancakes.

Ted had many adventures and saw the world. He loved it all. He was a history buff. His most important task, however, was combing the roads of Wyoming. First, chasing his own kids and attending their events; baton twirling, swimming, football, basketball, and track. Later, following his grandkids. After an event, Grandpa often called to break down the game; play by play. There was no greater fan than Grandpa Ted.  

Later in life, Ted was fond of finding the casino. Often, Ted was found sharpening his mind and math skills at the local blackjack table. Deadwood is where he met his special friend, Faye Rife, who was blessed enough to share the remainder of his years with. She was his partner in crime.  

Much can be said of Ted. He was a "Jack of all Trades.”  Pun intended. A farmer, educator, coach, businessman, veteran, outdoorsman, a Golden Gloves boxer, and a homemade ice cream and pie connoisseur; but above all else, he was a man who believed in God, was a patriot, and a family man. He was full of conversation starters and was famous for saying, “There’s an old country song about that.”

Ted is survived by a daughter, Teresa (Dave) Dalton; grandsons, Dylan and Clayton, and great-granddaughter, Kacey Dalton; a son, Jeff (Mary Kay) Tomlinson; granddaughter, Katie Tomlinson, grandson Rater Tomlinson; sister-in-law, Laura Jean O’Connor; brother-in-law, Harold (Dee) Caudill; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and Ted's dear friend, Faye Rife (and family).  

Ted is preceded in death by his wife, Jeannine Larie (Caudill) Tomlinson; son, James Tomlinson; parents, Fern (Clevenger) and Sherman Tomlinson; and brother, Tom Tomlinson.  

Services will be held on Saturday, January 20, 2024, in Wolbach, Nebraska, at the Methodist Church, at 10:00 a.m. Arrangements are with Jacobsen-Greenway-Dietz Funeral Home, St. Paul, Nebraska.   Online condolences may be written at

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January 20, 2024
Start Time:
10 am
Wolbach, Nebraska, at the Methodist Church


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