Redlands resident was a retired Air Force colonel

Thomas Van Meter

Col. Thomas R. Van Meter, a U.S. Air Force veteran and a 40-year resident of Redlands, died April 3, in Brighton, Minnesota, two days shy of his 87th birthday.

He was born on April 5, 1933, to Catheryn and Thomas Van Meter in Kemmerer, Wyoming, the home of JCPenny’s first Good Will Store. Van Meter graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula and earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City before reporting for active duty with the Air Force in June 1956.

He retired from the Air Force in 1984. Van Meter was active in National Contract Management Association, Air Force Association, Military Officers Association of America and the American Legion, in which he worked on Veteran’s Day Programs. He was active in Redlands’ Knights of the Roundtable and the Retired Officer’s Association.

He is survived by Kathy, his wife of 63 years; three children, Karen, Tom and Mary; nine grandchildren, Joseph, Katy, Terry, Sarah, Kate, Libby, TJ, Gregory and Theresa; and four great-grandchildren, Mila, Thomas, Dimitri and Julien. Funeral arrangements are pending.