Tim Phifer, longtime Fort Collins resident, died of liver cancer Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, at his home in Freeman, Mo. He was 73, having celebrated his birthday three days prior to his passing.
Tim was a unique soul – incredibly hard-working, honest to a fault and a firm believer in the saying “the customer is always right.” He will be remembered by many in FoCo for his work in the automotive department at Sears, where he was manager and deeply respected by all who worked for and with him.
Tim, though, was much, much more. A “gear head” in his teens, he was fascinated by cars and could often be seen cruising College Avenue on Friday and Saturday nights with his buddies in his souped-up ’56 Chevy. He loved the Beatles and loved getting into fun trouble with his twin sister, Terri. His bad puns and dad jokes inspired decades of groans from those who knew and loved him.
Tim graduated from Poudre High School in 1969 but not before he became the first of three Eagle Scouts in his family. He had a deep love of Scouting and later became the Scoutmaster of Troop 95 while in his early 20s, and he dearly loved camping and fishing in the Colorado mountains with family and friends.
Tim was also dedicated to St. Joseph Catholic Church. He was a reader for years before becoming the youngest president of the parish council when he was just 23. He remained a faithful Catholic throughout his life.
Tim was whip-smart and, like his father, loved to tinker with anything mechanical. He was a whiz at fixing cars, then used his gift for figuring out the world around him when he changed course and started working for the Shawnee Mission (Kan.) School District IT Department for 18 years. He also worked part-time for Western Auto and Advance Auto Parts for many years. He married Sandy Klaus in 1982; she survives. He was also step-father to Brian Klaus and Patrick Klaus, grandfather to four and great-grandfather to 2. He was beloved by them all.
Tim is also survived by his siblings: twin sister Terri Haas (Laporte), Steve (Ramsey) Phifer (Newburgh, Ind.), Tony (Kathy) Phifer (Fort Collins) and Paula Phifer (Greeley). He leaves behind an aunt, dozens of cousins and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Thelma Phifer of Fort Collins, and step-daughter Kristian Klaus.
Tim’s life will be celebrated Saturday, Oct. 28, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Harrisonville, Mo. His cremains will reside near his parents’ at the Chapel in the Pines memory garden in Red Feather Lakes, where he spent many blissful days and nights in his beloved Colorado mountains.
Memorial donations can be made to Tim’s family in Harrisonville, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church or the American Cancer Society.