Cover photo for Dr. Thomas James "TJ" De Cino's Obituary

Dr. Thomas James "TJ" De Cino

November 21, 1959 — November 16, 2023

Pine, Colorado

Dr. Thomas James "TJ" De Cino

Dr. Thomas James “TJ” De Cino, a Colorado native born November 21, 1959, in Denver, CO, passed away suddenly at his residence in Pine, CO on Thursday, November 16, 2023. A life-long academic, TJ received a dual undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduation, TJ went on to work in the corporate IT field at IBM and QMS. He then continued his academic career, receiving another bachelor’s degree in aviation and aerospace science at Metro State University of Denver (MSU-D). TJ completed a Master of Science degree in educational technology and instructional design at Nova Southeastern University in 1999. In 2016, TJ proudly, after many years of hard work and dedication, obtained his Doctorate degree also from Nova Southeastern University and in educational technology and instructional design. TJ dedicated his life to higher education and the aviation and aerospace fields working in instructional labs and designing simulation technology platforms as Director of Aeronautics and Aerospace Systems Laboratories at MSU-D. As a tenured professor at MSU-D, TJ dedicated over 20 years of practice to ensure students were able to be life-long learners and be at the top of their success in industry. TJ was also a pilot who loved flying his Cessna around the beautiful state of Colorado. He also enjoyed spending his time outdoors hiking, biking, fishing, and boating.

TJ was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Jacqueline, and brother Michael. TJ is survived by his loving wife Jill, best dog ever, Lucy Jane, son Tom De Cino (wife Lori), daughter Andria De Cino (partner Chris), stepdaughter, Rachel Lancon (husband David), brother Jim De Cino (wife Gwen), sisters Rochelle Smith (partner Dave), Tina Mahoney (husband Bob) and Sister-in-law, Hilary Watts (husband Buddy). TJ was the proud Grandfather of two granddaughters, Norah James, and Sunny Nichole. TJ also had many nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends who will deeply miss him.

There will be a Celebration of Life ceremony at the Mountain View Christian Church, 40 E. Highlands Ranch Pkwy, Highlands Ranch, CO on Friday, December 8th at 10:00 am. Please join us for a service and reception afterwards as we celebrate TJ and his extraordinary life! In lieu of flowers, the family has set up an Internship Fund for the Aviation & Aerospace Science Department at Metro State University of Denver, in the memory of Dr. Thomas James De Cino.


Grief is the last act of love we give to our loved one. Where there is deep grief, there is great love.


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Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, December 8, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

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