James Paul Tafoya

james tafoya

March 10, 1968 ~ August 3, 2022

Born in: Pueblo, Colorado
Resided in: Crested Butte, Colorado

Beginning Services: (Audio unavailable)

Scripture Service:

Personal Tributes:

James P. Tafoya, Age 53, passed away on August 3, 2022, in Gunnison, Colorado.

James is survived by his wife Regina Splees Tafoya; the children they shared their home with: Reina, Sheana, Kohki, Genki, and Abby; his parents Paul and Sally Tafoya; his brother Mark Tafoya and the many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

When you meet James, you feel you have known him for years.

A Go Fund Me Page has been set up at https://gofund.me/4fafd8be

Service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, August 13, 2022, in the Montgomery & Steward Chapel.

For more information on the service and for online condolences:  www.MontgomerySteward.com.


If we love, then we grieve.

That’s the deal. That’s the pact

We make with the creator.

Grief and love are forever intertwined.

Grief is the terrible reminder

Of the depths of our love and, like love,

Grief is non-negotiable.

The presence of James is with us, and with

Our grief, I invite us to celebrate.

Services in addition to Saturday, August 13:

1.      Saturday August 27:  Memorial Service and coffee on the Continental Divide

Details TBA

If you are interested RSVP please to:


subject line: continental Divide with James Tafoya

1.      FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9: Interment at Roselawn Cemetery

1706 Roselawn Rd, Pueblo, CO 81006

Details TBA

2.      FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25: Memorial Service in Maui

Details TBA

Bring your leftovers from any Thursday festivities, gather round

And talk story, and offer James’ iwi to Mother Maui that James loved

For so many years.

Requests: All are invited to look at:

The Meal train page:  Meal Train for Tafoya Family  (click on ‘special instructions” for specific likes and dislikes, restaurants, etc.)


GoFundMe page that our good friend prepared for us:  https://gofund.me/4fafd8be

Please support James in continuing his support of his family in these difficult times.


Funeral Service: August 13, 2022 1:00 pm

Montgomery & Steward Funeral Chapel
1317 N. Main Street
Pueblo, CO 81003


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  1. I just got the word today. Love you buddy. Wouldn’t have wanted to work beside anybody else. Rest In Peace brother

  2. Regina,
    My heart goes out to you, your family, and James’ loved ones. It was easy to see how much love you both had for one another. Though I didn’t know James well, I had the pleasure of meeting him when he first moved to town. He was such a joy to talk to and I felt immediately like he was an old friend. And then I had the pleasure of meeting you and all I could think is, there couldn’t be two nicer people or a nicer couple!

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know James is with you always, smiling down.

    Hugs to you all.
    Erin C.

    • Erin,

      Bless your soul for being somewhat similar to James in your way of loving on people.
      And, thank you for stopping by to express your thoughts and experience with us!

      CB is a hard town to break into and James was always grateful that you planned your
      monthly networking meet-ups that I could go to, and feel welcomed.
      I am beyond grateful for you orchestrating an evening of me being able to ride in prayer
      with James, and trusting me with the four-leggeds.


  3. Aloha Dear Brother
    We love you more than words can tell!
    We have shared so many fun memories I will Treasure close to my heart always!
    We will always remember you as a kind and loving soul. May you rest in peace and fly free as you leave this planet 🌎 💔❤️‍🩹🤗⚡️
    Peace be with you Brother James!

    • Dear Oceana and Drew,

      Thank you for stopping by the virtual nation to leave your words for James
      and his family. And thank you for the picture! It seems like I had seen it before,
      and it made the final cut of the video slideshow 🙂

      We all share in your sentiments as remembering James as a kind and loving soul.
      I am sure he is flying free, in peace.

      I’ve gone a bit ‘inward’ recently and when I’m back to routine, will read these words
      to James in my prayers – though I’m sure he’s already felt the warmth of your candle.


  4. Thinking of you!!! James this one is very hard to accept and digest. Missing you buddy. Stevies heart ♥️ hurts. My heart hurts. How do we move on? Had a beer 🍺 for you today. You know I don’t drink.

    • Thank you Steve!

      I am not sure if you were able to stream the services, but it means
      a lot to us that you were trying to make it up to Pueblo 🙂

      I am just sad that COVID kept us from getting to know the Tafoya
      family more. I’ve gone a bit ‘inward’ recently, and when I am back
      to my rhythm, will read these words to James in my prayers.


  5. I so appreciate the video stream of the memorial and what a GREAT slideshow of James and his family and friends. Big love to you Regina and your whole family. They all looked so beautiful ❤️

    • Thank you Janet,
      for stopping by to express your condolences. I am so glad that
      you could take advantage of the live streaming.

      I am just sad that COVID kept us from getting to know the Tafoya
      family more. I’ve gone a bit ‘inward’ recently, and when I am back
      to my rhythm, will read these words to James in my prayers.


  6. Oh my brother, words cannot tell how I miss you. Godfather to our boys, music music music, croquet shark. Kindness, compassion with hard truth for good measure. Gone too soon is obvious, and we knew better to leave our gratitude unspoken. Mahalo for all the good times. And your strength during the bad too.
    Shine your light through the cool Colorado rain. I’ll listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.

    • Thank you Nancy, Troy and family,

      for ‘stopping by’ to express your words and gratitude. James had many
      stories about his time with the boys. There may be even one or two that
      you might not want to know 😉 But I think he developed a love for all ages
      through these experiences.

      The river is his place and I’m quite certain you are spot on that he will sing
      his songs through the river.


  7. James,
    Missing you my dear friend. I truly thought we would be talking stories and laughing at 80-90 years old. Looking back on Haiku Dayz. So many good times. Thank you for the help with my teenage boy. He respects you as a man 100%. I will always love you James Tafoya. You are a good man. Hard to find ones like you these days.
    Regina, my deepest condolences. I am glad he got to experience deep love, marriage and a family. He wanted that big time. Bless you sister. I’m here if you ever like talk.

    • Michelle,

      There is often grief and confusion when expressing memories. I am sure
      that James appreciates all the expressions that are flowing in these times.

      Know that your condolences are received.


  8. James, my friend I’m going to miss you dearly. We’ve been friends forever. I wasn’t ready for this to happen. Happy you got to come back and see your dad and all your family. It’s almost like it was meant to be. You were an adventurer and I know CB brought you happiness. The bear in your camp and you just chilling in the car having a beer was priceless. How you slept I have know Idea.
    I have so much more to say.
    Regina, again so sorry for your loss. I do know how much he loved you and your family. I’m glad he got to experience that.

    Love ya James and Aloha my friend.

    • Billy,
      There are not a lot of words to express what James thought of your friendship.
      I still have no words to explain what happened and share your notions for
      his happiness in returning to his ‘homeland’ – on so many levels.

      He definitely chose his friends well, as you have been a great comfort and help
      to us moving through this time. I’ve gone a bit inward recently, and when I am
      back to routine will read these words to James in my prayers. – though, I’m quite
      certain he has been listening.


  9. Dear James.
    Even though I’d only know you a few years, I can’t over state how much your gentleness, humor, positivity and healing presence had meant to me at times when I desperately needed those things from someone with a spirit I look up to in a big way. To me, you’re a hero and a role model and I want to thank you with all I have.
    Dear Regina,
    I’m so thankful to know your family and I hope with all my heart that you’re all able to to find the best path into and through your grief.
    I also will be at the service on Saturday.

    • Thank you Gavin,
      for stopping by to leave some words, and for taking the time to come to James’ services.
      James will love hearing your words, I’m sure! He was at a time in his life when he looked to
      the younger generation and held great visions for so many.
      I’ve gone a bit ‘inwards’ lately, and when I am back to routine, will speak your words to James
      in my prayers.


  10. James and i have been friends for 35 years, i thought we’d get another 35….you were a “forever” friend to all of us, one of our tribe, sid said “Aloha oi, to a true warrior” Forever you will be missed. Just a box of rain wind and water believe it if you need it if you don’t just pass it on. A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through. Such a long long time to be gone and a short time you were here. I put your old drum kit in what you used to call “the scared guava tree” I will listed to the wind and rain play it. Let there be songs to fill the air.

    • Thank you, Kristine, for painting such a powerful image of James continuing to create music with the wind and water underneath the sacred guava tree. He brought so much joy in all his years on this earth, we are all so lucky to have gotten a chance to share in that.
      I have shared your words with James in my prayers this AM.

  11. Wow James, spent a huge amount of time with you – the memories keep flooding in. Even though I know it won’t happen I’m still expecting to run into you at Hanzawa’s.


    • Thank you Brian for ‘stopping by’ to offer your words. It means so much, honestly. He’ll be by Hanzawa’s soon, I am sure. Keep a good look out, cuz he’s sneaky. He just ‘appeared’ in our kitchen through a visitor who came – if that makes sense.

      I have spoken your words to James this AM in my prayers.


      • Hello Regina,

        Yeah, had some good fun with that guy down here – lots of history.

        Please take care.



  12. Wanted to express my condolences to Regina and the family. I didn’t know James for more than a few months but his kindness and humor made an impact.

    • Thank you Josh for your words. James expressed how much he enjoyed the thoughtful questions that you asked often. I have read your words to James in my prayers this AM 🙂

  13. As Mark’s ex-wife, I thought the Tafoya family would not be with me in my future. So happy to say they are still family forever. I do remember how Mark adored his brother James more than words could say in our almost 10 years together. I know James was so loved and cared about. Death is terrible and hurts so many. So very sorry Regina for your great loss. Our awesome God Jehovah and his son Jesus sees the pain that you, your children and the Tafoya family have. Psalm 9:10 says it well for all to be helped through this .”Those knowing your name will trust in you, you will never abandon those seeking you.” Keep praying for endurance and know you are loved and cared about by many.

    • Hi Janet,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and offering us your words. I love the Tafoya family so much. (Though, I must admit it is very difficult getting all the relations and connections down – there are so many 🙂 ) The welcome arms I received has been incredibly warm, and unfortunately for COVID we had to take a pause in deepening (my) connections with everyone. I wish I could have met Mark.

      I have read your words to James in my prayer this AM.


  14. James was one of my best friends. On my way to work driving on the Lahaina overpass a “Pueo” Hawaiian Owl flew in front of my car causing me to hit the brakes just missing him. Two hours later I learned of James passing. I believe it was my friend saying Aloha to me. Mahalo James Tafoya for all the love you passed our way. My wife Rosalind and I would like to express our confluence to Regina and his family. Big hug to all of you.

    • I have read this to James in my prayer today. Thank you so much for taking the time to ‘stop by’ and offer your words. James spoke highly of you 🙂 And Pueo are very powerful Creatures! How blessed are you to receive a ‘visit.’


  15. Long is the road
    We must travel on down.
    Short are the legs
    That will struggle behind.
    I wish I knew for sure
    Just where we’re bound,
    What we will be doin’
    And what we’re gonna find.
    Wherever we go, there will be birds to cheer you
    Flowers to color in the fields around.
    Wherever we go, I’ll be right here near you
    You can’t get lost when you’re always found.
    (I will take you home. Jerry Garcia)

      • The author of these words, I realized, is actually Brent Mydland. Figure I should clarify that in case any Deadheads glance over this 🙂

  16. We were so sorry to hear of James’ passing. He is in our prayers 🙏🏼 We plan to attend his memorial service

    • Thank you for taking the time write your condolences. I have spoken this message to James in my morning prayer.

      I look forward to seeing you at the service.

  17. Dear James,
    Last week you slipped the surly bonds of earth and to say you were taken too young is an enormous understatement. I feel as if you will miraculously leave another voice mail in Hawaiian that I must try and translate, which always brought a smile and a bit of a laugh. I know that will not happen. I know that I will never be able to receive a voice mail from you again, or meet up and laugh about the BMX races, BB gun wars, tennis ball cannons, sled races, wagon races and setting Tonka toys on fire and rolling them down Mr. blue’s hill into Colorado Boulevard traffic …. Allegedly.

    You were a forever kind of friend, husband, father and how miserable that your forever was just abbreviated to a measly 54 years. To say “this kind of thing doesn’t happen to people like you” is to be ignorant. It’s always to the most amazing humans that are stolen by death in the vilest of ways. I am angry, Friend. I am angry that nothing will ever be the same or feel the same again. I am angry that you are no longer able to live out your dreams. I am angry you can no longer be a husband to Regina or a father to her children, because you are most deserving of those titles. I am angry that this goddamn universe stole you from us.

    I still cannot fathom that this world does not have your soul anymore. I am a better person for knowing you. Saying farewell isn’t something I do. Instead, I am looking forward to seeing my buddy again every time I hear a Hawaiian phrase.

    God speed my friend; we will meet again in heaven.


    • Thank you Tony for these words. I share both your sadness and anger and possibly what I read as a disbelief.
      Last night my kids and I waited for James to come home, not ignorantly or naively, but a refusal to fully acknowledge that James has made his journey to the heavens without any clear signals that this is the direction he is taking.
      I have read your words out loud to James in my prayers this morning, and look forward to seeing you at one of the services.

  18. Cousin James you will be missed by many. I remember you hanging out at my gmas house when I was little.
    Rest In Peace.❤️❤️

    • Thank you for taking the time to write your condolences Kymberly. I have spoken your words to James and my morning prayers.

    • Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave a message for James. I have read your message to James in my morning prayer.
      – Regina

  19. I knew James both on Maui and in Colorado. I witnessed the beginning of James & Regina’s relationship and witnessed their marriage vows. We shared the unique experience of relocating our families from Maui just a year apart. Both Regina and I met the loves of our lives and they committed to loves us unconditionally and raise our 4 children with us!! We very much loved our lives in parallel. James loved every unique thing about Regina and accepted her unconditionally for who she was! James was an honorable man and I admired his commitment to family and unique perspective on life. He died too young and will never be forgotten. RIP Brother❤️
    Vei & Zea and family

    • 💗 Thank you Zea so much for taking the time for these words that I too have the honor of sharing.
      I have no clear words to express the gratitude both James and I have for your support over the years. Know that he has expressed this to me, even in those time I was reaching out to you on my own.
      I can say with confidence he felt deeply the warmth you brought our relationship.
      I have read your message to James in my morning prayer. 😊

      Love you

  20. James just wanted to let you know that you left your long John’s at my house. Wish you were just a little taller all kidding aside I love the way you would come to my house knowing that my door was always open to you and your family. Going to miss you but you will always be in my heart. Your uncle LT (godfather)

    • Thank you for taking the time to write some words for James. He had such a strong bond and respect for you, and you are one of the first family members he wanted me to meet.
      And yes. There were a few time we just drove randomly up to Denver, and I said, ‘shouldn’t we have called first – like awhile ago – to, you know, be sure they are home and available to meet us? LOL. His answer would always be, ‘They’re family.’
      I have read your message to James in my morning prayer.

      • Oh … And @ the long johns. First of all, they are James, so, they are not ‘long’ and you can probably wear them as shorts.
        Or, I’m guessing he wouldn’t mind you using them as a car rag as I can attest they make darn good ones.

  21. James,
    So grateful to have you in our lives. You will be missed. Your smile, your mischief, your magic in the kitchen and the love you have for all. God bless you!

    • Thank you Marie, for coming on here to write a message to James.
      I can say with full confidence that he, not just I, is beyond grateful that you could come and be with us so soon to offer your shoulder, guidance, wisdom, and support.
      I have read your message to James in my morning prayer.

  22. I have so many fond memories of James, usually it always began with a phone call and him yelling “what’s up cousin” followed by that James chuckle. Whether it was hey I’m in town, I wanna see you, from a beach in Maui telling me how his beer was getting hot or him freezing his butt of in Created Butte, It didn’t matter, I always loved the phone calls.
    I Love you cousin !!!!

    • Thank you Jesse for taking the time to write a message. You are without a doubt deeply rooted in James’ heart.
      I’ve heard so many stories, and share your joy in each time he called, it would start with, ‘what’s up cuz!’
      I have read your message to James in my morning prayer, and look forward to seeing you at James’ services.

  23. My Love, Mi Amor

    You will always be in my heart and by my side. We have been waiting for each other
    for a thousand years, and I will wait for a few more to be with you again.

    If the sun refused to shine
    I would still be loving you
    When mountains crumble to the sea
    There will still be you and me

    My love is strong, with you there is no wrong
    Together we shall go until we die, my, my, my
    Inspiration’s what you are to me
    Inspiration, look ‘n’ see
    And so, today my world it smiles
    Your hand in mine, we walk the miles
    Thanks to you, it will be done
    For you to me are the only one
    Alright, yeah

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