Photo courtesy of Henry W. Dabney Funeral Home - Ashland

Thomas Richard Colosi

Ashland, Virginia

May 25, 1934 – Jan 5, 2020 (Age 85)


May 25, 1934
January 5, 2020
Ashland, Virginia


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Henry W. Dabney Funeral Home - Ashland Obituary

Thomas R. Colosi

A longtime DC area resident who was a pioneer in the establishment of the practice of negotiation and mediation. Tom committed his life to conflict resolution and peace building. Tom, 85, passed away at his home in Glen Allen, VA, on Jan. 5, with his wife, Susan Shearouse, at his side.  

Tom was brought to DC in 1971 by the Ford Foundation to establish the Center for Dispute Settlement, and later moved on to the American Arbitration Association. In his storied career, he worked with a wide range of US government agencies, trained United Nations delegates, and settled disputes and provided mediation support in more than 20 countries.

The son of Italian emigrants from Sicily and a graduate of Cornell University, Tom had a soft spot for meatballs and sauce, Ford Thunderbirds, horse racing, and sweets of just about any kind.

He is survived by Susan, his wife of 23 years; his children Jennifer, Thomas, Christopher and Samantha; his stepchildren Jennifer and Eli; six grandchildren; and one great grandchild. His stepson Jacob passed away in 2018.

Services will be held at 5:00 pm on Jan. 18, 2020, at Duncan Memorial UMC, 201 Henry Street, Ashland, VA. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorial contributions be made to Circles Ashland (

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Dear Jennifer, Tommy, Chris and Samantha,
How sorry we were to learn of your dad's passing. He was charming and humorous and a wonderful friend. Although, sadly, we lost touch over the years, we have thought of your family often and would love to hear from you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Our sincerest sympathies.

Ann and Larry Williams

Terry and my deepest sympathies Susan on the passing of your wonderfully intelligent and clever husband, Tom, whom I met while we worked together and travelled with Dr. Robert Maurer on our Environmental Negotiations seminar for the Navy. Tom was a delightful colleague and friend and the two of you made such a magnetic couple, and both Terry and I have fine memories of the time we spent together. Tom's big heart, intellect and sense of fun will always be remembered very, very fondly.

My condolences to the family, and deep gratitude to Tom. He was generous with his time, insightful with his advice, and lighthearted in company. Unlike many established professionals, Tom did not neglect people who were starting their careers (as I was when we first met). I will always appreciate that. Rest in peace, Tom.

My thoughts and prayers are with your family as you remember your love one. May God provide comfort and ease your sorrow through the power of prayer and the hope of his Kingdom to come with all of its promises. Matthew 6:9, 10; Daniel 2:44

My deepest sympathy to the family of Thomas Colosi. May you be comforted in knowing that our Heavenly Father cares for you. He will give you strength and courage to cope with your grief.
Psalm 94:17-19

Tom and I worked together in the 70s and 80s. I worked for the US Conference of Mayors' Labor-Management Relations Service. He helped us develop and deliver training programs for state and local government executives. I view Tom as one of my most significant mentors. A true professional.

As Toms care giver,he was a pleasure to give care to. His family treated me like Family. He will truly be missed!

I am so sorry, Susan. I barely knew Tom other than knowing that he was a giant in the field, a pioneer, and a man who shared his knowledge with hundreds of others. The world is a better place for his life.

Deepest condolences to your family. From the Youngquists.