Tom was the oldest of six children. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Tom was a seeker of knowledge. He was an avid history enthusiast, a skilled writer and a voracious reader. He set off after high school and hitchhiked across the United States, once working as a newspaper reporter for Territorial Enterprises in Virginia City, Nevada, the same newspaper that Mark Twain had reported for, before graduating from the University of Oregon with a communications degree.
Tom settled in Seattle in 1981, where he worked as a mortgage banker for 40 years. A man of integrity and compassion, Tom was well-known for his large, friendly demeanor, which created lifelong friendships with many of his clients and realtor associates.
He was a devoted sports and fitness enthusiast, and played pick-up basketball three times a week, at the Seattle Athletic Club where he was lovingly known as “Tommy G.”
Tom’s most defining moment may be his response to the financial crisis in 2008. The bank he worked for, Washington Mutual, was considered too big to fail. Tom stood up in front of 2,000+ people at the WaMu shareholders meeting that year and lambasted the president of WaMu for bringing the bank to the brink of financial ruin through its selling of subprime loans, which Tom refused to sell.
WaMu would fail five months later. Here is a link to the Seattle Times article detailing Tom’s denunciation of the president:
Tom spent the last few years playing tennis doubles with the Bainbridge Island community tennis organization, and showering his wife and cats with love. He was deeply spiritual, and a committed vegetarian for the last 53 years of his life. His happiest memories were his family vacations to Hawaii with his wife Connie, his daughter Tina, and his son Nate. Tom will be missed tremendously by his immediate and extended family, and by the many community members he left an impact on.
For those who wish to give a remembrance, please donate to Paws or the animal shelter of your choice.
Arrangements are entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA.