"There are no
ordinary people..."
C. S. Lewis

Thomas Roy Wadkins

Born: 
Saturday, April 4, 1959
Died: 
Sunday, February 7, 2021
Birthplace: 
Denver CO
Service Information: 
A celebration for Tom will be held when the border’s open and it’s safe to gather together to sing with family and friends to honor his legacy.
 
Tom was born in Denver CO to a family of three older sisters who helped to keep him in line, when they weren’t busy dressing him up or tormenting him with hanging lougies. At the age of 6 he moved to the Portland OR area where he completed his growing up. Tom graduated from Tigard High School in 1977 and from Oregon State University (Go Beavers) in an acceptable 5 years to earn his BS in Chemical Engineering in 1982. While there, he was a member of a private fraternity called “Delta Who, ” which appeared to have a lot in common with another private fraternity aka Animal House. He put in a stint of 7 years in Southern California, where he hung out at the beach, grazed through happy hour appetizers in lieu of cooking dinner and was famous for his margaritas. In his off hours he started building a career in aerospace.
 
In 1989, he moved to Seattle and had the good fortune to run into an old girlfriend who was a newlywed but had a friend he just had to meet. A few months later he was introduced to this friend, Cindy. A year later, she was his bride and would be the love of his life.
 
Tom’s aerospace career brought him to Whatcom County, where he and his family have put down deep roots since 1995.
 
Like so many others, his life was upended in 2020 with a permanent layoff from aerospace due to the pandemic. As he was gearing up for a career change he was given the life-altering diagnosis of inoperable Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He fought the good fight for 5 months and 7 days but went for his final climb into Jesus’ lap on 2/7/2021. He will best be remembered as a cheerfully undiscriminating wino, with twinkling eyes, a great sense of humor and a wonderful bass voice that added depth to his church choir and Canadian chorus Soundscape. His kindness and welcoming nature will be missed, along with his hugs, ready smile, easy laugh and charcoal-grilled Daddy burgers. 
 
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, T Roy Wadkins II and Elaine DeBoer Schultz, and sister Jana Wadkins. He is survived by his wife Cindy, sons Taylor & David and sisters Sandra Wadkins and Mary Wadkins.
 
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to CaringBridge or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
  

Guestbook Entries

Submitted by Carmen on

Dear Cindy and Boys

my heart goes out to you.  I knew Tom from the Soundscape Chirus. I will always remember Tom as the sweetest guy.  He always had time for everyone and that twinkle in his eyes.  I pray that the support you get from your family and friends will give you some comfort during this grieving time.

Submitted by Nicki Bailey on

Cindy and sons:  My heart goes out to you all so much.  I consider you all lucky however, and that is because of the love you all have for each other.  Cindy, it was so apparent you & Tom loved each other so much.  That is not ony a gift to each other, but a true gift to your sons.  Not everyone has this gift, but you were lucky enough to have it.  My mom died of Pancreadic cancer..it is swift and deadly.  Know you all are in my prayers.

Love to you all, Nicki Bailey

Submitted by Bridget Adams on

What a tremendous friend and adventurer we had in Tom! We will always remember his optimism, his good sense of humor, and his love of a good cup of coffee in the mornings at camp. A true treasure~Tom... he will be dearly missed.  May he rest in peace and may you all find consolation in the love of God and the strong support of your people from near & far.

Submitted by Nancy Collier on

Cindy~   I was really saddened to hear that Tom had died, even though your last post on Caring Bridge indicated that his days were certainly numbered.  I was so impressed with both your and Tom's posts . . . . Tom's with his musical picks and upbeat persona . . . . yours being so on point, sometimes very lyrical, and even adding a bit of humor at times.  I so admire both of you for the way you navigated this unwanted journey you've been on, and that you shared it with all of us.  His obituary is perfect!

My first impression of Tom was a time at The Jansen when everyone gathered was singing (I don't remember what the occasion was), and I happen to be standing next to Tom, not knowing he was your husband.  My reaction was "Man, that guy can sing!"  And referring to his "twinkling eyes" is spot on!

I know how tough the days ahead will be for you and your sons, and I'll be thinking of you, and keeping you in my prayers. Your faith and the memories of being "the love of Tom's life" will see you through . . . . Love Lives On.

 

 

Submitted by Tammy Trainor on

We are so sorry for your loss. We are sending you lots  of love, hugs, and prayers. Love, Chris and Tammy Trainor and family ❤️

Submitted by Beth Smithson on

Dearest Cindy and Boys,

Words cannot express the sadness we feel for your loss. What a legacy Tom left. We were all blessed to have known him, his captivating  smile, spirited personality, genuinely kind loving man. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Beth and Rodney

Submitted by Jane Coombs on

Dear Cindy, Our hearts go out to you and your family losing your rock. Thank you for sharing your journey so openly, with such honesty, courage, and even humor. We wish you peace and wonderful memories, and look forward to seeing your smiling face one day soon.
Love, Jane and Dan

Submitted by Tammy Thiele on

Cindy & boys,

What a lovely summary of a beautiful life that touched so many.  I love that it's irreverent and full of heart. The absolute way we think of Tom.I will always picture him with either a smile on his face, laughing, or giving one of us his full attention in our small group. Hoping you feel all the comfort and prayers that are extending your way. 

Tammy, Steve & the girls

Submitted by Janell Salomon on

Dear Cindy,

What a wonderful story of Tom's life. It made me cry. I feel like we just ran into each other on the Silver Beach trails and here Tom is now passed on. How quickly this all happened! My family and I have been praying for you since we got the news about Tom from the Adams family. May God's love and consolation be with you and the boys at this time and always. Please know of our continued prayers. May you grow ever so closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Love and prayers,

Janell Salomon and family

Submitted by Linda Kolody on

Cindy, 

Thank your for a beautiful summary of Tom's life.  It makes me doubly sorry that we dropped choir before he joined.  You and your family continue to be in our prayers in this hard time.  

Linda and Phil Kolody

Submitted by Lance Turk on

Dear Cindy and Family.
So sorry to hear of Tom's passing. I mainly knew Tom through work at HT. He had this amazing ability to walk into a contentious meeting and light up the place with happiness.  He had an unmatched smile, laugh and soothing voice. You just couldn't get mad at this guy! Together, he and I fought a few tough fires and also celebrated a few victories. A unique man. A wonderful person. He will be missed. 
Now I visualize him in heaven, meeting with the other angels to review goals, rally for the day and bringing smiles to everyone's face. I'm going to keep that in my mind when I think of you Tom. Until we meet again my friend...

Submitted by Linda Pierce on

Tom's joy and support of everyone in our walking group is one of the things I will most remember about him.  He was encouraging to all of us, and hung around until the very last walking person came back to the start - which was you, Cindy!!  I have always been impressed that you both tackled a marathon together just a few years ago!  What a year that was!  I will always expect to see him down the trail ahead of me when I am out walking!  My heart goes out to you and your boys.  - Linda

Submitted by Steven Stanage on

Dear Cindy, Taylor and David;

So sorry to hear of Tom's passing on to meet His Lord. We will miss him here! I always enjoyed laughing and singing with him. We had many good lively discussions traveling to our choir Soundscape rehearsal every Monday. I am praying for you as you begin to navigate through these difficult days without him.

Submitted by Karma Reavis on

Dear Cindy and sons; I am so sorry for your loss. Tom was one of a kind. It was nice to work with him and then to get to go to church with him and the rest of your family. Also sad that this is a time when we cannot gather and grieve together. Thinking of you and praying for the comfort that only God can provide.

Submitted by Betsy Reese Sharp on

Dear Cindy, Taylor & David;

 

We’re so sorry for your loss, we mourn with you.   You are, and will continue to be, in our thoughts and prayers.  I remember when I first met Tom, at a fraternity party, he struck me then with his laughter and, as everyone notes, twinkling eyes!  Seeing the two of you fall in love and get married was a great honor and I’ll always remember our many discussions of love when we were roommates.  I loved seeing him as a father during the times we were able to get together, and have many fond memories of him coloring Easter eggs with all of our kids.  Reading the Caringbridge entries and seeing how you both navigated the last few months has been a huge inspiration, and I will look forward to you maintaining it.  May the peace of the Lord be with you now and always. Love, Betsy & Dan

 

Submitted by Joan S Cottingham on

Cindy, Tom was an incredible, positive person.  Encouraging to all Scouts, a great open personality, and such a smile!  Obviously, his presence will be felt at your side and in the boys' lives forever.  I'm sorry he is gone from this life.  Joan Cottingham   

Submitted by Glenn Rinkel on

Tom was one of my favorite, 'basses', as we navigated through the songs in the Henry Jansen barn on Willey's Lake Road....with all of the other Toppers Chorus members.  There were 50 of us and EVERYONE wanted to spent some quality time with Tom.   When it came time for members to do some work, Tom was always in the front of the line.  We all cooked up 6 tons of curly fries every year at the Northwest Fair.....until Tom accidently cooked his right hand in the hot oil.  Even then....he never lost his eternal smile.  

If any of us wanted a positive remark or comment....many people turned to Tom....and were never disappointed.  He went from the Toppers to the Soundscape and my wife, Marti, and I went to Langley, B.C. to see Tom featured.....in that group's annual musical program.  It was spellbinding.  So many great memories.......may he, and those around him live forever in heaven.    We'll see you in a while.  

 

Submitted by Renee Relin on

Cindy,
I was so sorry to hear about Tom. Though I only met him a couple of times, his natural warmth came across clearly. You were fortunate to have each other. I'm thinking of you.
P. S.Tom's obituary is the best I've ever read.

Submitted by Renee Relin on

Cindy,
I was so sorry to hear about Tom. Though I only met him a couple of times, his natural warmth came across clearly. You were fortunate to have each other. I'm thinking of you.
P. S.Tom's obituary is the best I've ever read.

Submitted by Patrick Johnson on

Thinking and praying for you and the boys Nancy. What a blessing he was to all who knew him. 

Matthew 5:4

Submitted by Jeff Magel on

Nathalie and I were so sad to hear of Tom's illness, and are equally sad to hear of his passing.  But also super joyful to hear of his "promotion to glory" and his starting the next great adventure.  He was (and is) one of the sweetest men I've ever met, and I was very happy to sing giraffe to his meerkat with Soundscape.  We're keeping you in our prayers..  Jeff, Nathalie and family

Add Guestbook Entry