July 6, 1942 – June 29, 2017
Thomas Roger “Tom” Tyler passed away June 29, 2017 at his home in Tacoma, Wash. where he resided with his wife Leslie. Tom was born in Vancouver, Wash. to Joe and Mae (Cunningham) Tyler. The Tyler family moved to Portland and was there until 1945 at which time they moved to Emmett, Idaho where Tom’s father grew up. Tom enjoyed spending time with his relatives and attended school there until the family moved to Moses Lake, Wash. in 1953. It was while there that many good friendships would be forged and Tom would return to Moses Lake often, attending any class reunion that was even remotely close to his.
In 1961 Tom married Barbara “Babs” Murray, and they had a daughter, Tommi Sue. Eventually they moved to Pullman, Wash. so that Tom could attend WSU. Tom and Babs divorced while there and Tom graduated with a Police Science degree. Tom was soon drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam. After completing his tour of duty Tom returned to the Northwest settling in Tacoma, Wash. Tom went to work for Pacific Storage and while there met and married his second wife Susan Kauttu, and they welcomed a daughter, Rebecca. In 1978 Tom resigned at Pacific Storage and moved to Saudi Arabia where he worked for Northrop Aircraft. In 1985 the family returned to Tacoma. Tom and Susan later divorced.
Tom eventually went to work for the State of Washington in Olympia as a Licensing Analyst where he worked until he retired in 2011. Tom remarried in 2017 to his longtime companion Leslie Stanley after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Tom loved to laugh and had a keen sense of humor. Tom was a giver. He helped many people through the years making meals for the less fortunate, visiting friends and family frequently, sharing his love of photography through his own photos and those of others. Tom wrote wonderful short stories of things he had observed and experienced throughout his life. His stories showed a natural talent for writing – one minute they would have you laughing out loud and the next tears would come. Tom loved his children and grandchildren and would sing their praises to anyone who would listen. Tom never judged people too harshly; he truly knew what it was to overcome a difficult upbringing and went out of his way to cheer people up when needed. It should be noted that Tom took excellent care of his mother Mae until her death in 2006.
Tom is survived by his wife Leslie, his daughter Tommi Sue (Paul) Ahmann of Colfax, Wash., daughter Rebecca (Jason) Hollister of Tallahassee, Fla., stepdaughters Christie (Kenny), and Alicia (Thomas) of Tacoma, Wash. and 12 grandchildren Brittany, Greg, Ben, Gabe, Brock, Tyson, Kiana, Myia, Elaina, Thomas Jr., Sierha, and Malik.
There will be a celebration of life on September 23, 2017 at Michael’s on the Lake at 910 W. Broadway Ave. in Moses Lake from 4-8 p.m. The family suggests memorials be given for the relief effort of the victims of Hurricane Harvey.