It is with great sadness that family of Thomas Cumben announce his passing at Sunrise Gardens on Thursday, October 13th, 2022 at the age of 63 years from Brooks, AB formerly of Grand Bank, NL.
Leaving to mourn with the love of his life Della of 36 years, daughter Kimberley (Jordan) of Brooks, AB; son Michael (Gina) of Ft. Mcmurray; his pride and joy of his life grandchildren Hunter and Rylee; sister Doris (Jerry) of Too Good Arm, NL; father-in-law Eric Peach (Doris), sisters-in-law Donna Stuckless (Tony) and Marilyn Peach; brothers-in-law Eric (Michelle), Paul (Evelyn) and Wade (Paula); his former co-workers Gord and Maude Woolfrey, Lorraine and Rex Blundon, Gurrin (Audrey) Gillingham, Maxine Marshall, Gordie Woolfrey (Laura), Coreen Colburne (Gary) and Gary Jacobs (Suzanne); his loyal companions Tucker and Tessa; the staff at Sunrise Gardens for all their love and support during Tom’s stay especially Megan and Kayla.
Tom is predeceased by his parents Thomas and Meta Cumben; mother-in-law Lena Peach; brother-in-law Albert Peach; nephews Maverick Hillier and Curtis Peach.
Tom will be truly missed by everyone that knew him. Tom dedicated many years to the funeral industry, he was very professional and helped many families through difficult times. He was a quiet man who was a honor to call a friend. He loved the Toronto Maple Leafs and in his memory we will hope they win the Stanley Cup this year.
Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Uncle, Grandfather, Idol, Role Model. Those are just some of the titles you were fortunate to have throughout your lifetime. I didn’t list best friend and there’s a reason. You and I were absolutely robbed of the opportunity to have years of friendship together. Sure, we were buddies when I was growing up, but I know for a fact that we would be inseparable at this stage in our lives if things could have been different. We should be planning trips to Leafs games together like we always said we would do. Instead, I’m sitting here writing a tribute for you. Life can be absolutely gut wrenching sometimes.
He was hands down one of the kindest people you could have possibly met. It didn’t matter if you met him several times or if you only had a single interaction with him, he always had an impact on the people he crossed paths with. While our time together was cut short due to the absolutely dreadful disease that is dementia, I am forever grateful for the time I was fortunate enough to have with you. Everywhere I go, especially now that I’m older, the first thing anyone ever says to me is “My God, you are the spitting image of your father” and you know what? I couldn’t think of a better compliment to receive. I didn’t just get my looks from you though, thanks for all the hair by the way (haha), but I also got your big heart, your generosity, your selflessness, your feeling of always doing what you can to help those around you. I am the person I am today because of you and there is simply no way I could ever thank you enough for that.
Your family was your life, you always went above and beyond to do everything you could for us. If we ever asked for something it was always “well what did your mother say?” Or “Go see what your mother thinks.” Let’s be honest here though, after you said either of those things, we all knew we were going to end up with whatever it was we were asking for. You hated saying no to us and I think we all used that to our advantage from time to time. It breaks my heart knowing that your grandchildren will never get the opportunity to grow up with you by their side. I know without a doubt they would have been spoiled even more than you spoiled Sis and I growing up … if that’s even possible.
If I were to sit here and list all the memories we have together I think I could seriously write a book, so I’ll just share one of my all time favourite memories that I have. As many of you know, especially those that I am particularly close with, I was absolutely obsessed with Curtis Joseph growing up. It was actually borderline unhealthy. Anyways that’s besides the point, I will never forget the gift that my father surprised me with on my 10th Birthday. A set of goalie gear for road hockey that was identical to the set that Curtis Joseph wore himself. I lost my MIND.
I won’t lie, over the past 8 years I’ve gotten angry and asked why? Why is it okay to rip the life right out under a 55 year old man? My whole life, between you, Grandmother and Pop, you would always say “God has a plan” to which I ask; what “plan” is this a part of? It just makes no sense and it never will. I’m grateful that the three of you taught me to never give into anger but to rise above it instead. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I have you to thank (blame) for that. I’m a giant teddy bear and I’m quite okay with that.
They say losing a parent is one of the worst things anyone can experience. However, losing a parent while they are still physically on earth is indescribable. Being able to see, hug or talk to them only to have them look at you like they’ve never seen you before in your life; it crushes you.
We are in our 5th year at Holy Trinity and we just got married this past August; it was one of the hardest days of my life to get through knowing you were still alive but you weren’t able to be there. I know for a fact that you would be insanely proud to know we are working in Education and helping children in any way we can. I am there for “my kids” at work just like you were always there for me. It’s moments like these, the moments I couldn’t wait to tell you about that don’t quite mean as much anymore because I can no longer share them with you. Whenever something happened growing up you were always my go to person to call. I had let you know or ask for your advice on how to handle whatever it was; you were my person. I’m not going to lie, it made me incredibly angry at first knowing you could no longer be “my person”. If I’m being completely honest, it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. It is the absolute worst.
Dementia is by far the worst disease on the planet and I absolutely despise it. I would never wish it upon anyone. In saying that, it has taught me to not let the little things in life upset me. I step back and remind myself that it doesn’t even come close in comparison to losing what I’ve lost; my best friend.
I will end this on a more positive note. I just want to thank you for being you and thank you for shaping me into the person I am today. If I had the choice to go back and do it all over again knowing the devastating disease that is dementia would still take you from me again? I would absolutely do it and wouldn’t have to think twice about it. That’s how much I valued you as a human being, our time together and all the things you taught me. I may be biased but I can say without a shadow of a doubt, I had the best Father there ever was or ever will be.
Until we meet again Skipper,
In keeping with Tom’s wishes cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.
In Tom’s memory donations may be made directly to the family, 6 Meadow Place Green, Brooks, Alberta T1R 0L8.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Smith’s Funeral Home, Brooks, AB and Serenity Funeral Home, Grand Bank, NL.