January 19, 1951 - December 19, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
At Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, on December 19, 2023, Thomas Edward Perry (Tommy) succumbed to liver disease. He had some last farewells from several forever friends and family members, and he was supported and loved right through to the end by his partner Maureen. Thank you so much to the wonderful nursing staff and doctors on 5 south.
Tommy was born January 19, 1951 in Ontario, but he would always claim to be a "Newfie" through his mom's heritage. His first years were spent on his grandfather's farm in Torbay, Newfoundland. He then moved with his military family to Wainwright, Alberta... and this is where the adventures began.
Tommy said he spent three good years in grade 10, at which point he called it quits and went off to Edmonton.
He felt called to the freer lifestyle of B.C. (just imagine - girls swimming in the nude!) and he ended up in Kamloops during the big flood of '72.
Always game to try new things - skydiving, hang gliding, and later, paragliding became passions for him. Air was his element. Tommy made many lifelong friendships and had many adventures through these activities. It wasn't always important to properly pack his parachute. "There's a reserve chute, isn't there?"
Tommy did a stint in college to become a sign painter. He worked as a house painter, builder, pipeline welder's assistant, and even spent time as a roadie with a Hawaiian band. He also played the guitar and the fiddle - going off to a yearly jamboree in Idaho.
Log home building eventually became his lifelong career and passion. Many examples of his fine work are found locally in Clearwater and as far off as Germany and Japan.
He became an avid skier and backcountry tourer, and many years were spent around Tod Mountain. He met Maureen Kelly while on ski patrol there.
Tommy and Maureen spent lots of summer days kayaking on the Adams River. Though water was not his element, as with most things in his life, he loved a challenge.
Maureen and Tommy married, and started their off grid homestead at Mad River. Together they continued to build log homes, while cuddling baby lambs, raising poultry ("stacking chickens"), riding and falling off horses, chasing off wolves, working in the bush, and cutting meat.
Tommy spent his last years in Clearwater where he enjoyed the occasional outing with old and new friends and where he was close to amenities and services.
Tommy was predeceased by his dad Wilf and his mom Anne, as well as by his father-in- law Bill.
He is survived by his older brother Andrew (Sue) and family in Edmonton and his younger brother Steve (Mary) and family in Calgary. He is also survived by Maureen and her family.
Right up to the end, Tommy ran his own show. He told the doctors and nurses that he was "cuttin' like a new file".
There will be a celebration of life for Tommy in the spring of 2024.
"If I knew I was going to live this long, I would've taken better care of myself."