October 9, 1934 - January 3, 2024
In loving memory ~
Tom was born on Oct. 9, 1934 in Red Deer, Alberta to parents Ralph and Jeanie Panrucker. He later went to school in Calgary where his family lived on a small farm. He earned money delivering newspapers and became a proficient swimmer at the YMCA.
He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in February 1953. He achieved the rank of Leading Aircraftsman and became an Air Frame Technician Group 2 with the regular force. He was honorably discharged after a 3 year hitch.
In 1957, he began an apprenticeship as a Motor mechanic with Norquay Motors in Banff which was then owned by his Uncle Jim Anderson. During this time, he met the love of his life, Jessie. They got married on October 12, 1959 and had three children. Tom obtained his trades qualification in March of 1960.
They loved living in Banff and enjoyed the outdoors and made many friends there. But back then, you couldn't own a home in the national Park. They decided to move to the lower mainland where some of Tom's family lived and settled in New Westminster. Later they bought a home in Coquitlam. Tom found work at a dealership on West 4th in Vancouver. After a couple years of city life, they decided to move northward and ended up in Burns Lake in 1967.
Tom was a meticulous mechanic and cared about doing the job right. His reputation as a good mechanic resulted in bidding wars between shops to come and work for them. He worked in two shops in town at least 3 times each! He also worked at various lumber mills and mines in the surrounding area. Tome and Jessie were also owner/operators of a taxi business and later were both guards at the police station. He also worked tirelessly with Jessie packing her boxes of wares and setting up tables at numerous fairs and exhibitions.
Tom enjoyed watching hockey and football. He also enjoyed riding snowmobiles, swimming, bowling, darts, gardening and helping repair the family cars and trucks. He always had time for his wife, children, neighbours and friends. He spent countless hours as a volunteer at the Legion where he was a member for 50 years. He coached his sons in minor hockey during the 1970's.
Tom passed away at The Pines on January 3, 2024 after an extended stay. He enjoyed bowling, curling, trivia and visits from the family. He really enjoyed Mary's chocolate chip cookies!
Tome is survived by his sons Deral (Mary) and Mark (Christine), his daughter Tara (Steve), his brothers John (Sol) and Ralph (Jane), and sister Jeanie (Neil) Vant, his sisters-in-law Betty Bell, Joyce Stuckey, and Lillian Kirtley and brother-in-law Bill Kirtley, as well as numerous nephews and nieces.
He was predeceased by his wife of nearly 59 years, Jessie (2018), his father Ralph (1994) and his mother Jeanie (2002).
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.