John Martin Vetterling passed away peacefully at home on January 10, 2013 at the age of 78. He was born in 1934 at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Denver, the son of Herman and Helen Vetterling. He is predeceased by his two wives, Nancy and Jeanne, as well as his sisters Ruth and Helen. He is survived by his sister Ann, his three children John, Paul and Mark, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Growing up in Denver and Golden, John spent a good deal of time during summers with his aunt Lucille in Silver Plume, where he began his love of "mountain life." He graduated from East High School in Denver, which was just the beginning of his life-long desire to keep learning. Due to his last name beginning with "V," he was the last graduate to cross the stage under the "Colorado A & M" banner before it became CSU, earning a BS degree in Forestry. He went on to earn an MS in Zoology at CSU, a PhD in Veterinary Medical Science from the University of Illinois, a MS in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, and finally, at age 50, an MS in Preventative Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis in California. In addition, he had a Colorado Real Estate Broker's License. His motto in life seemed to be, "When in doubt, earn another degree!" His father was once overheard to say "I told him to get an education, but this is ridiculous!"
John served in the ROTC at Colorado A&M, and served in the U.S. Army for 4 years, including time in Germany. Professionally, John worked for 11 years with the Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland, returning to Colorado to serve as an Assistant Area Director, then Area Director for the Agricultural Research Service, specializing in parasitology.
Theology played a very important role in John's life. In his autobiography, he wrote, "I have never known a day without the presence of God." As an avid outdoors-man there were several times when he found himself in a dangerous situation where he felt God intervened to save his life.