Tom was born October 12, 1936 in Nanaimo, BC and passed away on November 29, 2023 at Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops. Tom was the friend of everyone he met on the street, in a store, at the hockey rink or anywhere else in Kamloops. For those who had met him before, they knew that saying "Hi" was a twenty minute event, but an enjoyable interlude in otherwise busy lives. After growing up in Nanaimo, Tom moved to Kamloops in 1960 with his wife, Marilla ("Rilla") and the oldest two of five children. The three younger boys were all born in Kamloops. In Kamloops, Tom worked as a printer at the Kamloops Daily Sentinel, Kamloops This Week and Kamloops Commercial Press.
Tom was predeceased by Rilla in 2004 and is survived by children Thomas Jr. (Bonnie), Janice, Michael (Deb Jenn), Douglas (Ann) and Gregory along with grandchildren Liane, Christina, Caty and Charlotte Mcinulty and Ryann, Dustin and Lindsay Larson. In addition, Tom leaves numerous nieces, nephews and great grandchildren. Also special in his life were in-laws John and Linda Hodson and Sharon Payne and lifelong friends Pat and Tom Decker and Diane White. Some of his neighbours also became good friends and included Sandra Ceccone, Sean and Tracy Bush, Tim and Jocelyn Dalin and their families.
Tom was blessed with incredible artistic talent and drew some pencil sketches of performing artists and one of Rilla that graced the walls at 999 Munro Street, Tom and Rilla's house where their five children were raised and in which Tom lived for 59 years.
The highlight of Tom's artistry was his Montreal Canadiens wall hanging that celebrated the five consecutive Stanley Cups won by the Habs between 1956 and 1960. The CH logo was adorned by head shots of all the players and management of the team during those five years. Amazingly, Tom drew each of the head shots on felt and in pencil. The names of each player/management team are perfectly symmetrical and you would struggle to achieve the same result using a computer. The estimated number of hours it took to complete varied with each passing year but is was somewhere between 150 and 250. Or, as Rilla would say, "A sign that he had too much time on his hands" '. Interestingly, Tom was a Leafs fan and only made the wall hanging because he thought five consecutive Cups was a great accomplishment.
In addition, Tom also was a big fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. More than one person joked that, in 1982, the only person who worried more about the Cardinals was Whitey Herzog, the team manager. Of course, that year the Cards won the World Series so all Tom's worrying was for naught. Tom's health started declining in 2021 and resulted in him having to sell the Munro Street house. He then moved to Chartwell Ridgepointe until being hospitalized for four months in 2023 and transferring to Gemstone two weeks ago. The family would like to recognize and thank the staff at Ridgepointe, Royal Inland Hospital and Gemstone for the compassionate care they provided to Tom, allowing him comfort and dignity in his final days.