Former Northwest Colorado resident slain in Thailand |

Former Northwest Colorado resident slain in Thailand

Noelle Leavitt Riley
Troy "Chip" Pilkington fishes in Alaska.

— Troy “Chip” Pilkington was a quiet and hardworking family man who lived in Craig, Hayden and Steamboat Springs in the 1990s.

His life was less than boring, living in Alaska and eventually Thailand, where he resided until his death July 6. He had family in Thailand and America, and no one would have guessed that his life would come to such a violent end.

A taxi driver in Bangkok reportedly killed Pilkington with a machete after the two men had a dispute about Pilkington being overcharged $1.60 for his cab fare.

His family thinks he refused to pay the cab driver the overcharged amount.

“I guess the taxi driver came up behind him with a machete or a samurai sword, and that’s what I know,” Pilkington’s sister Tracy Shaffer said.

Now, Pilkington’s family is trying to wrap their heads around his death.

“Chip didn’t die over $1.60. He died fighting over a principle … and in our minds, that was worth it — however sad and crazy and ridiculous this is. In our family, he was the one that was a bit on the quiet side, always thinking, tough, yet level-headed. Chip left this world with his dignity and honor intact. That is what his family in America and Thailand will remember,” his cousin John Pilkington said.

Chip Pilkington married a Thai woman and was a stepfather to her son. His wife’s sisters and their children lived with them, too.

“Chip took care of all of them financially. He put the kids in private schools,” Shaffer said.

Pilkington lived in Craig, Hayden, Steamboat, Aurora and Alaska before moving to Thailand.

He came to Craig in 1991 and worked at Magnum Metals in 1992. In 1996, he and his brother started Fishtail Trucking. Pilkington left Craig to attend college in Alaska, and then returned to Northwest Colorado after graduation and worked at Wagner in Hayden. In 1999, he worked for the city of Steamboat.

His family said he will be deeply missed.

Pilkington’s family plans to scatter his ashes in Alaska next to his dad.

Noelle Leavitt Riley can be reached at 970-875-1790 or

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