Eulogy by Randy and David Fox
Make no mistake about it! Tom is here, with us, today. He is watching over all of us.
I consider it to be a great honor and privilege to be speaking here today in Tom's memory. We are all here to celebrate Tom's life. A life filled with purpose, a life filled with success, and more importantly, a life filled with meaning.
Tom asked my son, David, several weeks ago, to give this eulogy today, but job-related responsibilities kept him from being here. He wanted to be here very much. I guess you can look on me as a human proxy for my son.
I first met Tom when he and his brother, Tad, auditioned for my Fifth Grade Band. I always knew that the best kids in school wanted to be in my band! Tom was always fun-loving and enjoyed being with his friends.
As my wife and I were driving up here yesterday, I had all these thoughts and ideas going through my head and all these adjectives to describe Tom and his life. I could not seem to figure out how to tie them all together and come up with a central theme or focus point. As we were driving along, I happened to notice a sign by the side of the road. It read: "If opportunity never knocks, build a door." That was the theme I was looking for which described Tom and his life! Tom never waited for opportunity to knock. He enjoyed life to the fullest and always sought out new ideas and possibilities. No challenge was too large for him. No problem too difficult to overcome. Tom made his own opportunities. His generosity to many left him with many friends and associates.
He was like a brother to my son, David, and daughter, Heather, and like a son to me. He was always gracious and appreciative.
Each one of us has had our lives touched, in one way or another, by Tom. Take this Hawaiian shirt for instance. It may seem trite, but I never wore a Hawaiian shirt before, in my life, and never expected to. Tom asked me to wear this today and I, sort of, like the new image.
He made a lasting impression on all of us and his strength and clarity give us something to emulate.
I will now read the eulogy my son, David, has prepared for Tom today.
"Today we are here to stop and pause to celebrate the life of a wonderful man who was very special to all of us."
"I feel privileged that Tom asked me to be here today to say a few words in his memory. What an honor this is!"
"I would like to remember Tom as a caring, loving, generous person who was always giving of himself, his time, and his earthly possessions. He never thought twice about giving to others. He kept his strong character and never gave in to the throws of sorrow, not even in the end."
"I remember a day back in high school when I was in Frank Beer's high school biology class with Tom. There was a new kid in class. This tall, lanky, boy dressed in a plaid shirt wearing thick-rimmed glasses was attending his first day of high school biology. The class had been broken into small groups to work on a project. Everyone seemed to have a group but the new kid. Tom looked over and saw this new guy sitting over against the wall, all by himself. Tom invited him over to join his group just like they had always known eachother. Ever since that day, I have looked up to Tom as a role model of the type of person I would like to try to emulate. I was that new kid at school who had been offered Tom's unconditional friendship."
"That was just the way Tom was. He was always thoughtful of others. We see that in the way he was so involved with the Big Brothers Program." I don't know how many of you have met James, but James is Tom's little brother. Tom never stopped talking about James and the fishing trips that they went on or the ball games they attended together. Tom was very proud of you, James.
"That was just another way that he extended his love to others. He made a difference in people's lives. Even right up to the end of his earthly life. He made it known that he wanted others to learn from him and his disease. He did not want others to have to endure the same difficulties that he faced in the months before his passing."
"Tom was always a success, not only in his personal life but also in his profession." I don't know how many of you like Ross Parroh, but I always thought that Tom would be another Ross Parroh, only taller, better-looking and without the accent. "At the young age of 26 he was the founder and president of the successful InfiNet Consulting firm here in Fort Collins. Back in April of 2000, Tom used his skills to develop a web site to remember the victims and help the families of the Columbine tragedy. In the summer of 1998, Tom developed a web site to help the victims and families of victims of the terrible flooding that occurred in Fort Collins. These are only a few of the ways that I had seen Tom use his time and skills to help others in their time of need."
"While speaking to Tom in the weeks before he passed from his earthly life, he asked me to wear this Hawaiian shirt as I gave this eulogy. He wanted me to keep the spirit light. This is just the way Tom was. He always wanted others to be happy. He asked me to remember him as the world traveler and adventurer that he was. He made it known to me that he had 31 excellent years of life that he was able to spend with friends and loved ones. He traveled and saw the world."
"I can remember one of the many adventures that I had the opportunity to share with Tom after we had both graduated from college. I am sure that many of you have been there as well. The sun roof open, the tunes playing, Tom grinning his mischievous grin from ear to ear and the feel of an open road taking you to wonderful destinations. On that particular trip, I think that we spent as much time on the side of the road, meeting state partrolmen, than we did on the road driving."
As we leave this place and go our seperate ways, let us all take with us the memory of Tom and keep that memory close to our hearts, forever. His young life will take on more meaning as we continue on our own journeys through life and possibly help us find answers to some of the perplexing questions life puts before us.
God bless you all and may peace be with you. Thank you.