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Milton "Joe" Trlica
Milton "Joe" Trlica
Milton "Joe" Trlica
Milton "Joe" Trlica
Milton "Joe" Trlica
Milton "Joe" Trlica

Obituary of Milton "Joe" Trlica

Milton Joseph Trlica, Jr.

On Wednesday, June 21, 2023, Milton Joseph “Joe” Trlica, Jr. passed away peacefully in Fort Collins, CO, after fighting pneumonia and subsequent complications. Joe was born in Beeville, TX, on January 25, 1942, the first child of Martha “Dot” Beall Gardner and Milton Joseph Trlica, Sr., and brother to Warren Clark “Corky” Trlica and Lee Gardner Trlica (deceased).

Joe was hard working, fun-loving, adventurous, and known for his generous nature, mischief, and his love of a good laugh. He always had a smile on his face, never met a stranger, and made new friends everywhere he went. He was passionate about his work, family, travel, hunting, fishing, cheating at board games, Sunday night dinners, and practical jokes.

Growing up in the small town of Beeville, Joe grew up close to his large extended family who lived nearby. His cousins were like siblings and his aunts and uncles like parents. He admired his uncles, Lefty and Henry Gardner, who served the USA during WWII as pilots. Lefty and Henry employed Joe and his brothers at “Gardner Flyers” crop dusting, where they all picked up their love of airplanes and flying.

After high school, Joe attended Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He went on to attend Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX, earning a Master of Science in Range Science and Management, and finally finished with a Doctorate of Ecology from Utah State University in Logan, UT. Joe enjoyed a thirty-five-year career as a professor at Colorado State University in the Range Sciences Department. Under his advisement, 27 students completed their PhD, and 33 completed their master’s degree in Range Science and Ecology. Joe’s career afforded him the opportunity to live and work in Kenya, Africa, where he taught and led research studies at Kiboko Range Research Station. Joe received the Outstanding Young Man of America, Outstanding Alumni award from Texas Tech. He also served as the president of the Society of Range Management and was awarded the “toothless saw” award many times by his friends.

Joe met Gail, his wife of 53 years, while attending Utah State University. They were married in 1970, and started their lives together in Fort Collins, CO. Joe and Gail welcomed two daughters, Angie Janelle Trlica (Hardley) and Tyson Camelle “Camie” Trlica. He spent his golden years traveling – visiting over 50 countries – and enjoyed spending time with his wife, daughters, and three grandchildren. He was an avid fisherman, hunter, and sporter of a mustache, pocket protectors, and oversized glasses. He was always genuine and generous with his time, love, and resources. He will be greatly missed.

Joe is survived by his wife, Gail; his two daughters, Angie and Camie; and three grandchildren, Brentton, Audrianna, and Colter. He also leaves behind his brother, Corky, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 12 th at 11:00 AM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 600 E. Swallow Road, Fort Collins, CO. All are welcome.

If you are unable to attend in person, follow this link to the livestream of the service.

In lieu of flowers, you might consider a memorial donation to the Joe Trlica Scholarship Endowment (52825) at Colorado State University. You can donate by visiting; search for Joe’s fund under “52825” or “Trlica.” Donations can also be made out to the Colorado State University Foundation, P.O. Box 1870, Fort Collins, CO 80522. Please write “Joe Trlica Scholarship” on the memo line.

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Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, August 12, 2023
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
600 E Swallow Road
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States