50 Voices - Tom - Fifty Lives

Tom

Tissue Donor

Thomas (Tom) Clifford Eggers, Tissue Donor

Tom was born June 4, 1952 in Portland, Oregon and grew up in a loving family. Tom was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, papa, uncle, brother-in-law and cousin.

I met Tom in August 1969 working together at a fast food restaurant. I knew immediately Tom was a special, caring and dynamic individual. I married my soul mate in March 1970.

In May 1971 we became proud parents of our wonderful son Jason and just 3½ years later we were blessed with our beautiful daughter Melanie. He loved his children with all of his heart.

Over the next thirty years we were blessed with seven grandchildren. Tom loved them so much! When he passed we asked each family member one word that described Tom, Dad, Grandpa and Papa. They described him as protective, safe, exciting, strong, intelligent, knowledgeable, bold, loving, with integrity, witty, reliable, ‘ohana', passionate, compassionate, "Wiffle'Waffle" and soul mate.

Music was always a big part of Tom's life. He played in a band in high school. He shared the love and special connection that music provides with his son, and they enjoyed playing guitar together for decades. For Tom, the lyrics to the songs were just as important to him as was the melody.

In early years Tom enjoyed outdoor activities such as camping, motorcycling, rock-climbing and white-water rafting. He especially loved creative endeavors such as photography and woodworking.

Tom worked most of his life in construction. His last seven years, Tom worked as a general manager for a wholesale building materials supplier, where they described him as an "integral part of the business" and "incredibly passionate about his work."

He truly cared for others, not just with empathy, but also with action. A leader by example, Tom was about results and his commitment often inspired others, as was the case when Tom co-founded and served as president of ReFIT (formerly Remodelers Foundation), which works to refit homes for the elderly and people with disabilities. He also volunteered numerous hours with organizations such as SOLV and Washington County Disability, Aging & Veteran Services. Just before his passing he led his grandson's Cub Scout den in building a puppet theatre, which they donated to the Play-Therapy department of a homeless shelter.

On March 14, 2009, my dear husband died of a sudden, massive heart attack at the early age of 56. We found out later that he didn't suffer at the time of his death. He was loved by so many; over 400 people attended his funeral services.

Tom signed up to be a donor when he first obtained his driver's license as a teenager. Over the years he shared his feelings of the importance of being a donor. Many of our family members have signed up because of Tom.

We are so proud of this man who made such a difference in all of our lives. Tom's generous spirit still lives on even after his passing through his tissue donations. We all love and miss him so much.