With heavy hearts, but bright memories we announce the passing of Tom Sawden. Tom was born in Star City, Saskatchewan and spent his final months at Extendicare in MooseJaw, Saskatchewan. He was predeceased by his parents Tom and Marian, his son Glenn and his second wife Lois. He leaves behind his wife Kay, his ex-wife Eileen, his daughters Anne Phillips, Laurie (Ken) Hird, his son Doug (Cathy) Sawden, and daughter-in-law Jodie Sawden (Lon). He also leaves his stepchildren Leslie Adank, Cindy Adank (Jeff), Ken (Penny) Markewich, Neal (Kathy) Markewich, Duane Markewich and Lois Young, 8 grand children, 9 step-grandchildren and their families, 4 great grand-children and 2 great great grandchildren. Tom is also survived by his siblings Frank (Alice) Sawden, Maureen “Mo” Orrick and Linda (Dusty) Miller.
Tom grew up in northern Saskatchewan where his family had a small farm and hotel. He attended a one room schoolhouse in a town with no electricity or automobiles. When Tom was 17 he joined the war effort, enlisting in the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. He was stationed in England and ready to deploy when his age came to light, much to his dismay; but was able to remain there with his regiment until 1945.
When Tom came home after the war he joined his family in Nanaimo, BC where they had relocated. There he worked for a short time logging with a draft horse near Lake Cowichan, then went to work in the Nanaimo coal mines. Tom married Eileen Gilmour in 1947, they had 4 children together and were married for 25 years. In that time Tom built one of the first TVs in Wellington from a kit he ordered, shot a blacktailed deer, one for the record books, and carried it out of the hills for miles on his back, became Postmaster and built a house in Wellington. He also joined the army reserves, and later became a sergeant with the Scottish Regiment (finally retiring from service in 1990 as a lieutenant and instructor of cadets). Tom and family moved to Crofton, BC in 1972 where Tom also worked as Postmaster and parted ways with Eileen.
In 1975 Tom Married Lois Adank. The couple moved to Clinton, BC where Tom worked as Postmaster until his retirement in 1981. It was here where he built his second house. Over the years he served on the executive of the Canadian Postmasters Association for BC/Yukon branch and was a town councillor for many years. He was also an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion, eventually earning his life membership, having held every office at Branch #194. Tom continued to attend Paratrooper Reunions until 2014 when he became ill.
After Lois` passing in 1998 Tom moved back to his home province of Saskatchewan, where he and his longtime friend and Paratrooper widow Catherine ”Kay” Markewich became very close. The two were married in 1999 and enjoyed their twilight years living in Moose Jaw and travelling frequently to visit their many friends and family across Canada and enjoy the warmth of Mexico. They also enjoyed singing in the Golden Voices Choir and swimming at their community pool. The Markewich family has been very supportive in the last two years as Tom and Kay’s health has declined, helping the two move to the same care home and keeping the rest of the family informed of their conditions.
We would like to thank the staff at Extendicare in Moose Jaw for their compassionate care. There will be no service at this time. Tom’s ashes will be spread in June 2016, at a private service at the Ex Coelis Mt, a mountain range in the Rocky Mountains dedicated to the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion of which Tom was a proud member.
Dad will be remembered as having loved his family, helped out friends and neighbours, gave back to the community and lived life to the fullest…enjoying a beer or two along the way.