His many fine qualities were greatly appreciated by Brad Hill, who offers his thoughts below.
Tom lived by that philosophy and concentrated on his students and his teaching. His patience and his background in business were his strongest traits as a teacher. He always had time for the students and I only saw him mad once after a “mature” student embarrassed him in front of the class. Even at that time he forgave the student when I would have forgiven but never would have forgotten. With his strong religious background he felt he must forgive and was always sorry he could not get that point across to me.
Tom would do anything for his family. The kids and Elsie his wife were always asking Tom to drop everything and help them in whatever the crisis of the day was and he would. No complaints and no arguing – just a laugh and out he would go to help resolve the next situation. He believed strongly that through the teaching in his bible that the man was the leader of the household. What the man said was the final say or at least until he met Elsie.
Tom also attempted to recruit me to his Mormon faith and because of the kind of person he was he got me thinking of giving up my Catholic faith to go on a mission for the Mormon Church. He said that because I am such a “good” person coaching etc. that I would make a good Mormon. He gave me a Mormon bible that I still have and his sincerity was very convincing. [Editor’s Note: The Mormon Church dodged a bullet when Brad did not convert.]
He was dedicated to his faith, his family, his students, his fellow business faculty, his office partner, and the college. He was also right when he said to close the classroom door and concentrate on the students. He was a wonderful person and everyone that came in contact with Tom became better because of his humble strength of belief in family, faith, and friends.
Rest in Peace, Tom, we are all better individuals for having known you. Thanks and say hello to Gerry (McCready).