Timothy Michael Trabon

December 27, 1950March 17, 2018

Tim Trabon—husband, father, friend, entrepreneur, explorer, horseman, rancher, storyteller— passed away on March 17, 2018, in Houston, Texas.

After the passing of his own father, fifty years ago this spring, Tim, then seventeen, was left with a Heidelberg letterpress and a final instruction from his father: “I have full confidence that my son, Tim, will carry on the family business.”

And that, he did. From those humble beginnings in the basement of his family home, Tim would surpass his father’s wildest dreams. Today, a half century later, the printing business not only endures, but thrives, by Tim’s design, in a digital age in which most family businesses have not.

But Tim could not settle on only one of life’s paths—he had places to go. Twenty-nine years old and eager to see the world, Tim, through sheer force of will, found himself under the wing of famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau. Only after years of trying and failing could he finally call the fabled Calypso, home. He went on to earn his red cap on expeditions that probed areas unknown, from the Amazon rainforest to the indigenous villages of Papua New Guinea. His business could wait, and his steadfast wife, Patti, told him to chase his dreams.

Later in life, horses, cattle, and the tough people who shepherd them charged into Tim’s life and would remain there until the end. Tim took to horses and they to him. Raising and caring for animals would become his greatest and most beloved lifelong challenge. On his ranch was where Tim felt most alive—his father had dreamed of having one, too.

Tim helped people, often those he did not know; hoping to give others the same small foothold that he had been given. Without hesitation, Tim and Patti welcomed a young girl, Delila, from war-torn Bosnia into the comforts of their home and soon called her one of their own. Tim had a soft spot for those who burned to live like he did.

All his life, Tim continued to chase new ideas and relationships and experiences, always following Patti’s nod. He co-founded an art education company with his son. He built an olive oil import business after a visit to his familial homeland, Sicily. He boxed heavyweight fighters. He rode bulls and broncos and motorcycles—all fast. He earned the respect of hardened cowboys and acclaimed artists, alike. He took his sons everywhere with him and showed them to be good men, and expected nothing else.

Tim inspired those who knew him and his absence will leave a cavernous hole in the hearts of all those who loved him. In the final months of his life, he wrote: “Say yes more than no. If there is a door in front of you, walk through it.” He left the rest to the divine.

Tim, son of Michael and Mary (Triscari) Trabon, is survived by his wife, Patricia; his sons, Michael (Roop Bhatti), Timothy, and Anthony; and his sister Elizabeth Brockman.

Visitation will be held on Friday, March 23, 2018, between 4:00–7:00 p.m. at McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, Kansas City, Missouri.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 24, preceded by eulogy at 9:45 a.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 11800 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Missouri.

Charitable donations in honor of Tim may be made to Seton Center, 2816 E. 23rd Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Condolences may be left at


  • Seton Center


  • Visitation Friday, March 23, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, March 24, 2018
  • Committal Service Saturday, March 24, 2018
  • Reception Saturday, March 24, 2018

Timothy Michael Trabon

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ann Willoughby

March 24, 2018

We had the honor of designing the new Trabon identity. During the process, I came to love and respect Tim even more for his thoughtful and wise leadership. Most of us remember Tim for his mighty adventures and love of friends and family. I got to know the visionary who re-imagined the printing industry and patiently helped his team see and embrace his dream. He always said yes to
the ideas and pushed us beyond good to great. I will always love and treasure Tim for the bonds of friendship that included and transcended our business relationship. ❤️Ann

Jim Robinson

March 24, 2018

I met Tim in 1983 when he printed the first job I designed after moving from Detroit to Kansas City. We became friends from that event on. I have never met a better person in my life than Tim. He will live on in my heart and thoughts for the rest of my life. No one rode taller in the saddle.

Kassie Runyan

March 23, 2018

I met Tim almost 9 years ago. My time at Trabon shaped the person that I have since become. He took a chance on me, both in my entry to the company and my promotions through my years there. I heard the stories of “Tim” and that he was the real “Most Intersting Man In The World” before I even spent time with him. The admiration that his employees had for him inspired me to grow at Trabon. Over my years there, I loved sitting for hours as we talked about management, ideas, and our life stories. He was an amazing mentor and coach and it was at Trabon and in our conversations that I learned about the type of person that I really wanted to be. It was so hard to leave but his lessons have carried my work and life since then and our touch points since have continued to inspire me. My retelling of Tim Stories and the impact he had in my life have carried on in a type of ripple effect to continue to inspire those that never even met him. He truely was The Most Interesting Man in the World and one of my favorite people in this world. I wish I could have made it back this weekend but I am with you all in thoughts and love.

Kassie Runyan

susan bass

March 23, 2018

I didn't have many interactions with Tim, but I can say that in every one he was kind, thoughtful and never missed an opportunity to comment on the progress I had made with my horse (and with the help of Tim's dear friend, John B.)
My thoughts and prayers to The Trabon family and his many close friends.

Jim Barker

March 23, 2018

I first met Tim back in 1975 discussing an estimating system he wanted to install for his business. We became friends and over the years I always enjoyed working with Tim on PIA matters. I have always respected Tim in how he went about growing his business and building a fine company. I was able to spend some time with him back in June of 2017 catching up on how the printing business has changed over the years. --- I personally will miss him.

Al Hedrick

March 23, 2018

Patti; Tim was a great guy and one of a kind. It is a great, heart-breaking loss to you and your family but he is also a loss to all that knew him. You and your family are in my prayers. God bless you.

Al Hedrick

Karen (Horst) Spinner

March 23, 2018

My words may not be as eloquent, but they are heartfelt. With my late husband as a supplier, I later became an employee of Tim's in the printing business for a number of years. He was truly an enlightened and inspiring man as an employer and friend. He didn't talk about good business practices, he lived them. He was truly a good man - fair in his business dealings and honest like none other and, yes, an excellent story-teller just sharing some of his memories.
With his fair play, I was able to retire a few years ago, but thank him for everything including success and guidance.
May God bless and keep Patti and the boys. Be proud for he helped untold numbers of people, including me.

Bruce McSpadden

March 22, 2018

I had the privilege of knowing Tim through the printing industry. I am one of many suppliers that knew Tim's word was good as gold. I admired his caring attitude for his employees and his generosity to our Industry. His success was never attained at anyone's loss. He lived his life by the golden rule. We will miss him. My prayer is that the Trabon family feels God's comforting love during this difficult time.
Bruce McSpadden

Michael Vathakos

March 22, 2018

Tim and I were friends in grade school. My dad introduced me to him and his father when we went to their house off Wornall Rd to look at their printing equipment. Tim was the first one I ever went shooting with. He became more adventurous as time passed, while I became more academic. We lost contact over the many years, but I am envious of his business ventures and his pastimes.

Alan Farris

March 21, 2018

I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Tim for almost 40 years. Tim loved life and lived it more than anyone I knew. I'll miss our talks, lunches and especially his stories. He was a renaissance man. Rest in peace my friend.