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Tom was born December 3, 1938, the only son of Ralph and Louise Major. He spent the first 40 years of his life in Danville, Illinois, where he developed his love for sports. He especially excelled at baseball, basketball and – one of the great loves of his life – golf.
After High School (Danville High), Tom served in the United States Army, where he was stationed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. During his time there, he fell in love with Arizona, vowing to move there someday. Returning to hometown Danville after his service, he found employment at R&S Printing Company, gradually working his way up from Project Estimator to Head of the Library of Underwriters. He married and divorced his first wife, Pat, then met his second wife, Lucy, with whom they had 3 children: Susan (Nusbaum), Steve, and Shauna (Hawkins).
Following his dream, the family moved to the Phoenix, Arizona valley in 1978. Tom continued working in the printing business as General Manager of Valley Newspapers, retiring after 20 years. Living in Arizona allowed Tom to be out on his beloved golf courses year-round. Among his accomplishments, he shot 3 holes-in-one and shot his age (or under) a whopping 425 times!
Tom and Lucy eventually divorced, leaving Tom free to discover another – and possibly his greatest – love, his 3rd wife, Sharon. They married on a beautiful beach in Hawaii in 1995 and had 28 magical years together.
In 2016 Tom was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and with stem cell injections, he continued to live a normal life for 7 years—beyond doctors’ expectations. Only at the end of February, 2023 did he need to go on oxygen. The Fibrosis finally proved too big an obstacle for him, and Tom passed away in his home on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
He is survived by his wife, 3 children and his stepson Brian Hardman.
Tom took a great, humble pride in all of his accomplishments: athletic, business and personal, including the successes of his 3 children. His work ethic was beyond reproach and was respected and loved by most who knew him. He was an avid History buff, and his knowledge and memory were razor-sharp right up to the end. Tom had a gift for being able to make jokes and put people at ease even when things were bad. He kept that wonderful sense of humor through his final moments as well. He will be greatly missed.
If you would like to make a donation to help fight lung diseases, please send your monetary donations in memory of Tom to: Stemulus Innovative Healthcare, 1277 E. Missouri Ave., Suite 114, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
“Celebration of Life” service is on Monday, March 27, 2023 at 4:30 P.M. at the Bellevue Heights Church, 9440 W. Hutton Dr., Sun City.