Surprised by pancreatic cancer while in Victoria, BC, his winter retreat for 15 years, where he was surrounded by many friends and family willing to help even through a pandemic —sometimes from afar, sometimes from nearby. As ever, Tom was patient and philosophical about whatever life put in his path, never complaining. He had the comfort of being at home, with Marjie by his side, to the very end.
Born in Pembroke, ON, Tom was proud of his roots in the Valley. He graduated from St Columba’s High School in Pembroke and Assumption University in Windsor. A beloved History teacher in Sudbury, Tom continued his own education with a graduate degree in Library Science from Arizona State University, becoming Head Librarian until his retirement. He travelled widely, sometimes on school trips, sometimes on summer courses, sometimes on holidays.
He maintained his love of history throughout his retirement in Ottawa, through books, movies, and newspapers. His passions also included beer tasting in suitable beer glasses; watching sports, especially baseball and football; listening to music of nearly all kinds, but opera most of all; and dining out with family and friends. He was ready to talk to anyone about his passions, regardless of their opinion or expertise (or lack thereof). He could be quietly entertained by other people’s opinions, whether he shared them or not.
Family was very important to Tom. He hosted and thoroughly enjoyed an annual reunion/ get-together for relatives and friends. He will be greatly missed by his sister Wilma Salzman. Predeceased by his sister Myra Lavoie and brother Michael (Heather).
Tom was a loving spouse to Marjie (Clegg), who loved him right back; a devoted uncle to Sean (Sheri, Molly and Regan) and Jennifer (Emma and Isabelle Delorey), Paul Lavoie and Christopher Lavoie. He was much loved by his second family of Cleggs—Laura (Hugh Lindsay), Tom (Shannon Merritt), Alison (Stephen Fertuck, Casper, and Lilia), Joni (Colin Bradley, Keira, and Sebastian)—as well as many other family and friends.
Many thanks to Dr Michelle Nelson and the staff at Victoria Hospice and Victoria-Island Health.
Donations to: National Capital Opera Society, Canadian Red Cross, or the Victoria Hospice & Palliative Care Foundation.