Tom Whitelaw died October 14, 2008. He was a dear friend to many. He had a special place in my family’s heart. He was 90 years old.

At the funeral this past weekend I wanted to stand up and share some of my memories, but just wasn’t able to form the words without getting overly emotional. So instead I am writing my memories here.

Some of the things I remember about Tom….

I remember when we were little he’d read the newspaper in his chair in the living room. As kids we would try to punch the paper in, or flick it from the other side. He never got angry at us for it. Instead he’d close the paper, stand up and say “RAH HA!”, and we’d giggle and run away.

I remember coming home for lunch from school (not sure what grade I was in at the time), to watch Perry Mason with Tom.

Tom would occasionally make a sandwich for lunch, rye bread, relish, roast beef and white onion. Sometimes he’d make one for me too.

One of my brothers was particularly close to Tom in the most recent years. He was always known as renegade at Muriel and Tom’s. He found a mentor and friend in Tom. He followed in Tom’s footsteps and became an Electrician. I am so happy that he graduated before Tom passed on, and that Tom could be proud of him. When he comes home to visit Victoria, he almost always would make time to see Tom. He came home for Thanksgiving and seeing Tom just didn’t work out. A day later Tom passed away and he was already back at work in Alberta. We didn’t know Tom was in his last few days. Maybe it was meant to be, because now we remember Tom as Tom. My brother and I feel particularly bad about not seeing him as of late. It was hard to have Tom pass on, hard for me to deal with my feelings of his passing, but even harder to see how Tom’s passing as been effecting one of my brothers. He was so broken up at the funeral, it made my heart ache to make it better for him.

The funeral was lovely. I choose not to walk pass the open casket as I want Tom in my memories as he is, not as he was in the casket. It is very hard to believe he is gone.

His wife Muriel took care of us kids when we were younger. We sort of became part of their very extended family. How lucky we are to have had Muriel and Tom in our lives. They will always be remembered fondly. Muriel passed away in 1996, I still miss her. I have no doubt I will always miss Tom too.