In loving memory of our dear father, grandfather and great grandfather who passed away December 13th, 2014 at the Mountain Lake Seniors Community in Nelson, BC. Born August 16, 1915 in South Shields, England, he was the second oldest child in a family of 5 children. He was a choirboy, an avid reader and was very active in the scouting movement. He came to Canada at 18 years of age to fulfil his dream of becoming an Anglican minister. He attended and later taught at St. Chad’s College in Regina, SK where he met and married our mother, Betsy Reierson in 1944. They later moved to Pittsburg Pennsylvania where he completed his Master’s of Education in Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburg and was also an assistant at the Church of Ascension. In 1945 they returned to Canada and went to the Cathedral in Victoria, BC. He was called to St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral in Nelson BC in 1948 and was also in charge of St. Andrew’s Church along the North Shore of Kootenay Lake. Those were the days before there was a bridge across the lake and it was often a struggle to catch the ferry and be on time for the various Sunday services. In November 1956, dad was called to go to St. Barnabas Church in Calgary, AB. This was a hard decision as Nelson was a beloved spot for our family as both Betsy Anne and Graeme were born here. Through the years we continued to travel back to Nelson almost every summer. After much deliberation again, dad agreed to accept a calling to Holy Trinity Church in Edmonton in February 1959. Dad became involved with many community activities, the building of a much needed senior’s home – Trinity Hall, Council of Churches, Chaplaincy of Legion groups and the Veteran’s home, involvement with the University of Alberta including six years on the Senate, and National Church Synod committees. A great love of his was teaching and he was involved with the establishment of Tempo School in the church basement. He was always an advocate for the less fortunate in our community and worked tirelessly to be able to help with assistance of food and shelter when needed. He was a firm believer in the importance of preaching. He spent hours working on sermons and delivered them effortlessly. We often would greet him at the door after church and give him a critique. That was great dad or maybe not so long next time!!! He humoured us and even started placing his watch down on the pulpit to keep a better eye on the time!! He retired in 1981 but still kept commitments with the Veteran’s home. In 2005 they moved to Red Deer to be near Graeme. Dad’s celebrated his 70 years of ordination in the Pine Lake Anglican Church where he occasionally took services. On his return to Nelson the Primate made a presentation in honor of his 75 years of ordained ministry. A clergyman never truly retires. Dad continued to perform countless baptisms, weddings, funerals and cared for the spiritual well-being of family, friends and acquaintances for years. He never tired of friendly debate on any subject you could come up with. In June 2012 they took up residency at Mountain Lakes Senior’s Community in Nelson, BC – a place that was like coming home. Tom is survived by his three children: David, Graeme (Shannon) and Betsy Anne (Lee) DeClercq, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. His funeral service will be held at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church Nelson, BC at 11:00 am on Saturday December 20th, with burial to follow at the Nelson Memorial Park Cemetery. A reception will be held at 12:30 pm immediately following the service.
The family wishes to thank the very caring staff at Mountain Lake, especially those in Lombardy Cottage and of course Dr. Trevor Janz. In lieu of flowers a donation may be sent to St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral Anglican Church Together in Mission Fund, 701 Ward Street, Nelson, BC V1L 1T3
Dad’s spirit, faithfulness and intellect has touched us all. He will always be remembered, cherished and missed.
Arrangements are under the direction of
Thompson Funeral Service.
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