Thomas age 87, passed away peacefully Dec. 28th surrounded by family. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years Mary Ann, children Kathleen Oberg (Ed), Mark Somerville (Judy), Karen Swidergal (Bob) and Laura Somerville (Lauri Jordan), 7 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, extended family and friends.
Tom was born in Lurgan, North Ireland in 1925. He immigrated to Seattle in 1945. He served in the US Army Air Division from September 1946 to May 1947. After basic training he fulfilled his service in Japan, servicing US military aircraft. It was then that Aviation became a life-long passion.
He met Mary Ann Boysen, Miss Riverton Heights at the Trianon Ballroom in Seattle. They married in 1950 and raised four children together in Des Moines, WA. Tom became a US Citizen in February 1953, after a fast track to citizenship due to his military service. After a short time working at a box factory he returned to school and studied aircraft mechanics.
Tom was an airline mechanic for 32 years retiring in 1984. During his career, he worked for West Coast, Air West, Hughes Airwest, Republic and Northwest (now Delta Airlines). He often used his mechanical knowledge and access to airplane parts to build various projects at home. He once created a backyard fish pond out of the nose cone from an airplane.
In addition to aviation, his passions in life were traveling, his property in Plain, WA and his dogs. Tom enjoyed many vacations with family, destinations including Hawaii, California, Canada and Ireland. One memorable trip he took the whole family back to Ireland, all six of us flying standby. Other memorable trips were with friends and family included camping, hiking the Pacific Coast of Washington and enjoying the sun and sea in Mexico. He also enjoyed nature and the outdoors, often going on “hunting trips” but never coming home with any game. It seemed to be his way of getting outdoors. He built a cabin/retirement home in Plain WA on the Wenatchee River spending some of the happiest years of his life there, taking daily walks with his dog and enjoying the changing seasons. Tom was an avid reader with an interest in science, space travel, history and science fiction. He once took two of his grandsons to hear Steven Hawking speak. He enjoyed a good joke and maintained his sense of humor throughout his life even as his other senses began to fade. Tom was a caring and loving husband and father, who left us with many wonderful memories and stories.
The family would like to thank Mariana Bodea and Florina Monell of Pacific Northwest Home Care for the outstanding care they provided for Tom.
Donations in Tom’s memory can be made in his name to county animal shelters or the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at www.alzfdn.org.