|School: Jefferson||Graduation Year: 1963|
Year Inducted: 2013
Sports Played: Football, Track and Field
High School Honors: Football: 2-year letter winner; 1st Team All-PIL and All-State as a Junior; Shrine Team participant as a Senior. Played on 1961 City Championship team. Track & Field: 1-year letter winner; member of Championship City and State 880-Yard Relay Team and City 440-yard Relay Team as a Senior.
Post High School Career: Played College Football at University of Washington. College Professor at University of Washington, Jackson State, Evergreen College and Clark College.
In 1978, Tom received the nationwide award which is given to outstanding young men of America for “Outstanding Professional Achievement, Superior Leadership Ability and Exceptional Service to the Community. He also served on the Portland Opportunities Center Board (POIC) for several years.
The traits that Tom demonstrated in track and football—such as perseverance, determination, discipline, and hard work — were the same traits he demonstrated as a teacher and when he faced adversity. Tom was a role model for those who needed to overcome physical challenges. His attitude was, “I must give my all, there’s no alternative.” (For the last 20 years of his teaching life, Tom had neurosarcoidosis which led to blindness in one eye and paralysis from the waist down. The last two and a half years of his life were spent in a nursing home. When it came to the point where he could only lift his head, he lifted his head to keep that ability. He worked with what he had. His attitude — I must give my all, there’s no alternative—and warm smile drew the residents and nursing staff to him. In essence, sarcoid did not define Tom. Instead, it allowed Tom to personify perseverance, determination, discipline, and hard work).
Tom was passionate about teaching and seemed to always have a listening ear or encouraging word. His teaching, however, was not limited to the classroom. He consistently encouraged young family members to embrace learning. The following excerpts from a former student provides a glimpse of the man he was: