Joseph Edwin Trantham

1940 ~ 2021 (age 80)


Joseph Edwin Trantham, age 80, died at the Garden Plaza senior assisted living facility in Aurora, Colorado on June 8, 2021. He died as a result of various infirmities, including Parkinson's, Cancer. and Diabetes. 

He was born July 16th, 1940 in Kalamazoo, Michigan to Othnel Trantham and Ellen Lantz Trantham.

 He was raised on a beautiful 200-acre farm in Cloverdale, Michigan, the oldest of 5 siblings. He often recalled being required to wake up at 5am to milk cows with his father on brutally cold Michigan winter mornings, and then milking again each evening. He boasted often about the arm strength he gained from this daily chore that stayed with him his entire life. Out of this dreaded chore he gained the physical strength needed to save his younger brother's life out of a devastating tractor accident.

Joe attended Cloverdale Elementary school, then Barber Hall Military Academy in Kalamazoo (4th thru 8th grades), then on to Delton Kellogg High School in Delton, Michigan, playing football at the center and nose tackle positions. 

The next leg of his journey took him to Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan where in 1962 he received his Bachelor's Degree in History. As a freshman, he began playing pre-season practices on the Michigan State football team, but a knee injury took him out of the program prior to regular season play.  He joined the glee club instead and was very proud that he sang with Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley.  After graduation, he remained employed at Michigan State in the food service department for another 8 years before transitioning to the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1970. Joe worked proudly at CU as a food service manager for 32 years before retiring. 

Everyone remembers Joe as a gregarious, story-telling, jokester. You may not know that he also had a beautiful strong tenor singing voice. In his younger days he frequently sang church solos. His favorite song to perform was called "He Giveth More Grace".  He also performed "Sunrise, Sunset" at his daughter's wedding.

While able, he most recently enjoyed regular attendance at Calvary Church of Aurora, where he especially enjoyed the worship music. Joe and wife, Loli enjoyed 26 summer trips to Spain and once to Rome for extended family visits. Even in Europe, Joe was dearly loved. Throughout his life he also enjoyed hobbies such as fly fishing, coin collecting, and mountain road trips.  Joe would have it be known that he was a member of the Republican Party.

Survivors include: 

Wife, Lolita Bryan-Trantham of Boulder, CO

Daughter, Carolyn Buquet (husband, Rich) of McKinney, TX

Son, Lantz Trantham (wife, Yvette) of Centennial, CO

Step-Son, Michael E. Bryan (wife Alice E.Walker) of Boulder, CO

Step-Son, John Bryan of Boulder, CO


Richard Buquet, III of Little Elm, TX

Rochelle Buquet, McKinney, TX

Rachel Buquet, McKinney TX

Moriah Trantham, Greenwood Village, CO

Bethany Trantham, Centennial, CO

Joel Trantham, Boulder, CO

Blue Bryan, Boulder, CO

Three great-grandchildren, Lenae, Clementine, Mirabelle


Gene Trantham, Cloverdale, MI

Margaret Sweetland, Lansing, MI

Wendell Trantham, Cloverdale, MI

Joe was preceded in death by his mother, Ellen, his father Othnel (Ott), and younger brother, Vern Trantham.

Family members would like to specifically thank the staff at Garden Plaza, and the attentive team at Optimal Hospice Care. You all contributed greatly to his comfort in the final days.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, July 17th, at 10:00 o'clock AM Mountain Standard Time at Calvary Church of Aurora, Colorado, 18900 E. Hampden, 80013.  Pastor Sergio Salgado will be presiding over the service in both English and Spanish. 

Calvary is providing a live stream so that friends and family around the world can participate via computer.  We anticipate virtual attendance from loved ones in Michigan, Texas, Rome, Spain, and more.  Simply set your computer to just prior to 10am Mountain Standard Time, USA. Your computer screen will be black initially. The broadcast will appear as the service begins.


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