November 22, 2018
Sadly we announce the passing of Tom on November 22, 2018 at the age of 85. He was born in Quesnel in 1932 and was raised on a cattle ranch by his parents who were pioneers in the Caribou. After a year off to make money by splitting railway ties, he took his 1956 Ford Fairlane to Vancouver and attended UBC where he met his wife Dauna and graduated in Agriculture in 1958. Shortly after graduation, he started work at the Ministry of Agriculture in Victoria. Life got busier when Tom Jr. and Brad were born, both on the same day two years apart. In 1964 they moved into their home on a small acreage in Abbotsford. Tom was an active member of the Lions Club and played a key role in many projects such as construction of MSA arena, Mill Lake Park pathway and lookouts, and Abbotsford gateway. He met many good friends at work and at the Lions Club and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship of fellow workers, members and their families. He enjoyed many travels with family and friends. Tom loved western music and enjoyed a good “Hoe-Down”. His favorite movies were High Noon and True Grit. He will be remembered for his work ethic, determination and “can do” spirit. “If a man built it, a man can fix it”, he declared while repairing his vehicles and all sorts of small machines and equipment.
Tom had a “life changing” fall from his roof while power washing in 1982, which left him with injuries that persisted his entire life. He retired as Director of Agriculture Engineering in 1988. Significant projects included many barn and silo designs, a prototype raspberry harvester and range seeding equipment. After a short period of travel, he decided to try his hand at land development. He created a 12-lot subdivision on his homestead, spending countless hours doing one of his favorite things; operating his D3 bulldozer. He later followed that project up with two small developments, one of which was located in OK Falls where he parked his 5th wheel and assured Dauna there were no rattlesnakes nearby. For the past five years, he lived at Menno Hospital and though his health was less than ideal, he remained in pretty good spirits; lighting up with a big smile whenever Dauna, the boys and their wives or his grandchildren visited.
Tom is predeceased by his sisters Babe and Pat. He leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Dauna, sons Tom (Shaun) and Brad (Sandra) and four grandchildren Alec, Nicholas, Danielle and Natalie. He also leaves behind his brother Bob (Doris), brothers-in-law Lawrence and Dave and extended families.
The family wishes to thank all the staff at Menno Hospital and Nurses Next Door for their care and compassion for the past several years. They would also like to give a special thanks to Marie Kemp for her care and companionship. There will be an announcement for an open house for family and friends in the future, likely after New Years.