Condolences for Thomas E. Slade

Bob Varndell posted on 9/25/21

My buddy Tommy was one of the toughest guys I ever really got to know. Not tough as in raisin' Hell and kickin' butts--Tough as in he endured more blood draws and catheters, organ scrapings and removals (more than any ONE human being should ever have to), all with hardly a whimper or complaint. As Pat Nelson put it: "If anyone of US had to go through that sh*t, we would be like balled up on the floor, thumb in mouth, and cryin' like a baby". Oh...but NOT Tommy! He could be a little hard-headed every now and again (but can't we all!?). After a major procedure, he might have been instructed to take it easy--no driving or lifting for say, two or three weeks. Well, it wasn't unusual to see him out and about just TWO days later making his usual stops and scooting heavy chairs around so friends could join him. As I understand, he was categorized in the medical community as being, "non-compliant". This was a title that he was kind of proud of! One time, after a major surgery that required that he recover in the hospital for at least a week, he decided that since he was there to "rest" (which he deemed as impossible with all of the alarms and interruptions), the best place to "rest" was at HOME. So...he clipped all of his IV lines, dressed himself, and headed to the nearest elevator. As he told it, he almost made it past the nurses station when his nurse noticed him, jumped up and said something along the lines of, "Thomas--two things: first, you're much too weak to go home now so you need to stay here and rest and second, YOU STILL HAVE ALL OF YOUR IV NEEDLES IN YOUR ARMS!!" In Tommy's own smooth way he said, Ma'am, the doctors say I need to "rest" and I see no reason that I can't get that done at home so sweetie, kindly pull your needles out of my arms, I'm going home. Gawd...I LOVED that man!! Tommy was a gentleman's gentle man; he was a door holder and a chair scooter. He was not at all fond of when one of us (PAT!) let lose an "F-Bomb" in the presence of a lady. Quickly after the "infraction", he would clear his throat, look down his nose and shake his head "NO". Now, around the guys-no problem--around the "fairer sex", NEVER. One of my ever lasting memories of my buddy will be the way he would enter a room. He'd enter, come to a dead stop, lift his arms out wide in a very welcoming gesture and as he leaned back slightly and with a smile ear-to-ear would say, "Hell-Low People!! While I will surely miss my buddy I find comfort in knowing that the pain brought to him from the countless surgeries and procedures is over now. He has a bevy of relatives and good buddies to fish and golf with and he has found peace. PEACE MY BROTHA'!!


Bob Swiney posted on 9/23/21

Tom was a real fisherman, he fought through pain and sickness to be on my boat for the annual walleye trip to Lake Erie, never complained, never a bad word spoken or a bad thought revealed a true gentleman and someone I was proud to call friend Tight Lines and following seas my friend, you will be missed and remembered. Capt. Bob