Thomas Joseph (T.J.) Cloninger

Born: Thu., Dec. 18, 1969
Died: Sat., Dec. 14, 2019

Celebration of Life

11:00 AM Fri., Dec. 27, 2019
Location: New Life Church ~ Fairfield


12:00 PM Fri., Dec. 27, 2019
Location: New Life Church ~ Fairfield

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Music by The Piano Brothers

U.S. Navy veteran Thomas Joseph “T.J.” Cloninger, 49, of Fairfield, died Dec. 14, 2019.
            A celebration of life will be held Friday, Dec. 27, at 11 a.m. at the New Life Church in Fairfield with military honors and a luncheon to follow. T.J.’s ashes will be spread during a private family service later.
            T.J. was born Dec. 18, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Anne Marie and Warren David Cloninger. He was the oldest of five children. He graduated with honors from C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls in 1988.
            After high school, T.J. enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear submarine quality specialist. He served his country from January 1989 to December 1994 and completed a tour during Operation Desert Storm. During his time with the Navy, T.J. studied at St. Leo’s University in Florida and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance and business management.  
            T.J. worked in Denver, Colorado, for TIAA as an annuity specialist, for IMS as an administrative assistant and for Great West Life as an implementation specialist. Most recently he had worked for National Quality Inspections in Great Falls.
            His motto in life was, “Live in truth, be Godly and be kind.” He enjoyed fishing, biking, skiing, hunting, boating and remodeling anything. More than anything, he enjoyed spending time with his family and his dogs, Turbo and Millie.
            His survivors include his wife, Kylie Jill (Critchfield) Cloninger of Denver; his mother, Anne Marie (Robert) Kraft of Fairfield; his father, Warren (Cherie) Cloninger of Alaska; his brothers, David of Dutton, Victor of Fairfield and Jason of Oregon; his son, Joshua Cloninger of Idaho; his daughter, Taylor Jordan of Denver; grandchildren, Oakley and Domitri; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He also leaves behind his wife’s family.
            He was preceded in death by his brother, Christopher; his maternal and paternal grandparents; his maternal and paternal great-grandparents; an uncle, Thomas; an aunt, Denise; and his father-in-law, Stanley Critchfield.
             The family suggests memorials to Bright Eyes Care and Rehab Center, P.O. Box 1498 Choteau, MT 59422, or Dumb Friends League, 2080 S. Quebec St., Denver, CO 80231.
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Condolence Booklet

Angelina O'Blia
   Posted Thu December 19, 2019

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss to your family and friends. Be free and fly high with all the other angels above. When I heard about this, I was shocked. It was good working with you for so many years at GWL & TIAA.


Angelina O'Blia

Debra Kelter
   Posted Fri December 20, 2019

THE COLOR OF MEMORIES TABLE ARRANGEMENT was sent by Debra Kelter, Anthony Imperial, Teresa Laschke and Anna Imperiale.

To Aunt Anne Marie, Uncle Dave, Jason, David, Victor and your families, We send our deepest sympathies for the loss of your son, your brother, our cousin T.J. Our thoughts are with you at this, a most heartbreaking time and we are wishing you the strength to always remember his smile, always hear his laughter, and always hear his whisper in your ear. As much as he will be missed, may you all find comfort in knowing that T.J. is at peace now. Sending our love, Debby, Anthony, Teresa and Anna

Kyle Bryant
   Posted Fri December 20, 2019
Dear Cloninger family,

I wanted to express my condolences on the loss of T. J. I haven't seen T.J. for a very long time but I immediately recalled his good Nature, sense of humor and what a humble person he always was. He was a very good man and I am sorry to Jason as I remember how much you looked up to your Big Brother.

God Bless.

Tony DeRosa
   Posted Fri December 20, 2019
I was extremely saddened to hear about TJ's passing. I'm so sorry for such a huge loss. Your family lived down the street from me on Malmstrom before moving off base. TJ was a year ahead of me in high school, we played baseball on the same Malmstrom team for a couple of years and he was nothing but great to me, as were all of the Cloninger boys. TJ and I got to know each other well and I was proud to call him a friend. After high school, we lost touch, but I have always wondered where all of you had ended up and prayed for nothing but the best for your family. TJ was one of those guys that you will never forget and having known TJ is an honor and privilege. I can't say enough great things about him. Thanks for always being a good friend TJ. We lost one of the best.

Dodie Sekora
   Posted Sat December 21, 2019
Anne Marie I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your son. My prayers are with you and your family at this time.

Craig Jacobson
   Posted Sat December 28, 2019
Tom and I met in 1995 at Janus. He was one of my first friends I met in Colorado. We played on the same volleyball team for years. We had A LOT of good times together! He was a good friend and will be missed!

I prayed about him- and he went straight to heaven! He is doing great right now believe me- and he is now cheering us all on. Take comfort in that he is still with us and we will see him again soon.

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