Obituary of Thomas Edward Laubman
April 10, 1944 – Macklin, Saskatchewan
April 13, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta
Tom Laubman, beloved husband and cherished companion of Karen Martin, of Calgary, AB, passed away on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, just a few days after his 78th birthday.
Tom was born in Macklin, SK, and enjoyed an idyllic childhood. He was raised in love by Ed and Lillian Laubman, along with his older sister Cathy (Van Sickle: 1942- November 2021). Tom loved sports and excelled in hockey, baseball, and golf. He delighted Karen, and others, with stories about growing up in Macklin! Playing with friends from morning until nighttime, only breaking from play for meals. Swimming, golf, wandering the town, playing pool, floats at the cafe, hanging with buddies at the Macklin Lake cabins, community dances, and the family band. When pals weren’t available Tom enjoyed wandering in and out of the local businesses, chatting with “the big boys” and men, watching the mechanics, checking out the farm implements, looking through the hardware store inventory and helping out at his dad’s elevator. Karen was ever curious about his Tom Sawyer-like experiences, as there were many!
At heart, and demonstrated over a lifetime of daily actions, Tom’s love and focus on his family were ever present. Tom married Judy Froh and they raised Shauna and Andrea Cori in Regina, Redwood Meadows, and Cochrane. On New Year’s Eve, 1984, Tom married Karen Martin, in Victoria, BC, and I brought Andrea Lee, Jody, and Greg into their blended family. Ashley Jayne completed the “yours, mine and ours.” Tom felt our success and happiness as a blended family was derived from a commitment to love and hard work to ensure all the children knew they were truly “ours.” Tom’s eldest daughter, Pari, grew up apart from us, but remains cherished by Tom’s family. He was a caring son to his aging parents, and a loving and devoted partner, but Tom thought his role as a father came completely joyfully and naturally to him. It was his greatest source of success and happiness; his children and grandchildren were each a marvel to him! Tom was grateful for the fine partners our children chose, and how each one has demonstrated love and commitment to their own families. He valued time with his sons in law: Craig Ruff, Matthew Rimmer, Jason Dick, Tim Neuls, Steven Mercer and Aaron King, and daughters in law Janine Whitney Quinlan and Pam Malekos. Tom rejoiced in the birth, growth, and the accomplishments of his grandchildren. Each one a unique and special person to him. Janae and Dannica Ruff, Luca and Isaac Rimmer, Evan and Joelle Dick, Quintin, Lucia and Nate Neuls, Dan and Jackson Malekos, Alex Martinez, and Amber and Tommy King. They will miss their Poppa’s love, patient support and precious times going on adventures and telling him all about their challenges and successes.
Tom obtained three university degrees and enjoyed being a teacher and school administrator in Regina, Calgary, Three Hills and Trochu. After an early retirement Tom obtained credentials to assess and assist children with learning challenges, and the many years spent in this role were some of his favorites. Tom also enjoyed working a summer at Frere’s Ranch, teaching English as a second language, managing the Trochu Lions campground, and working on Trochu town counsel.
Tom’s appreciation of community and small towns made Pescadero, Baja Sur, Mexico such a good fit for wintertime snow birding and retirement. Tom and Karen drove a variety of RV rigs back and forth to the Baja for more than a decade. Tom so enjoyed a road trip in his truck, he loved the beauty around Pescadero, the people, the pace, and the beaches. He admired the beauty of the Spanish language and so enjoyed its study, especially with his gracious teachers at Hablando Mexicano, in Todos Santos. Tom greatly enjoyed all water related activities and he and amigos spent many days kayaking, boogie boarding, and snorkeling together. Karen is thankful to all Tom’s amigos, because I just couldn’t keep up with his energy level and persisting desire to explore. Winters in the Baja were made all the sweeter by many, many family visits and time with good friends.
Macklin, SK, remained a fundamental part of Tom and he remained a small-town kind of guy. He was down to earth and never impressed by ‘glitz’ regardless of its form. He was never petty and genuinely found happiness in the success or accomplishments of others. Tom was a kind, gentle man and he was happiest when he was helping and doing. He was extremely generous with his time and talents. He valued effort, hard work, and was never a complainer. He loved traveling, hiking, and camping, but mostly only in the Baja! Annual summer family camping trips and boating were highlights for Tom. As was golfing with his girls. He loved teaching the grands to water ski!
When Tom was diagnosed with a late stage lung cancer last fall our family was in shock. True to character Tom never complained and tried all he could to retain his health. But, illness progressed quickly, and it seemed each week a new health challenge and another loss was experienced. In the last while the cancer moved to his bones and pain was a constant fiend. Despite the care and support of many to enable Tom to stay at home, his pain and debility required a move to the Agape Hospice for a short time prior to his death. At Hospice we met skilled and compassionate staff who sought to ease Tom’s pain and sooth all of our spirits and for that we are grateful.
The weight of our emotional and physical burden has been eased and carried upon the hearts and shoulders of family, friends and community. Karen is grateful for all who reached out and who kept the family close with prayers; and thankful for visits, food, calls, texts, smiles and hugs.
Our family would like to express gratitude to the NW Palliative Homecare Team as help was always a phone call away. Additionally, thank you to the Safeway Montgomery Pharmacy staff, who were kind and attentive as they organized and reorganized a changing supply of medications. Thanks to the Tom Baker outpatient and inpatient staff who somehow helped us balance hope with pragmatism. Gratitude to strangers who donned a mask and offered an arm to help a suffering man, vulnerable to illness and fighting for life. Grateful to our daughters’ employers who, amidst one COVID staffing crisis after another, supported their absence from work while they helped care for their dad; thankful to Dr. Reid McLean-Weist for many years of care and who always offered Tom time for genuine connection. To the close friends of our children, you may not all know us, but we know of your love and support to our children during these sad and challenging days and we are so grateful. I am especially grateful to Ken and Ruth King for helping with the love and care of our little grandchildren, when we could not.
A letter from Karen to Tom
“Though my grief is great, my gratitude and love is greater - for the tireless support and devotion I received from such a fine man, for the generous and loving father you were to our children, for the kind and caring man you were to family, friends and community. A life well lived, my love, a life well lived! I will cherish you every day of my life. I will be thankful in all circumstances.”
Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed here.