Archive for the 'Family' Category

Uncle T’s Eulogy

Feb 24 2012 Published by under Celebration,Family

I’m Savoy, one of Tom’s nieces. My uncle Tom was still a teenager when I was born and I called him TT, which you can all understand the irony of a man of his stature being called TT.


My Uncle Tom grew up in Carmichael with his two sisters Penny and Vicki. His mom and dad, Ann and John met  and fell in love in England when John was in the service during World War II. After my Poppa John popped the question to his true love, they married in England and Ann came to the US as a war bride after the war ended. They lived with Poppa John’s family when they first arrived in Roseville.


The DeVries family was a big one. Nanna DeVries and her husband Willem had 9 children and 15 grandchildren. She was one tiny lady with a soft voice but a big heart and a big personality.  Nanna was from Hungary and her husband Willem from Holland.


When my Uncle Tom was born on April 17, 1954, his mother’s whole family moved from England to Roseville. The British side of the family included Nana Cilla, Dadda Tom – his grandfather and namesake – Auntie Ev, Uncle Albie and their daughter Sandra. When Tom was a toddler they moved to Carmichael where he lived until he married Lisa, his true love. Tom grew up in the middle of a large loving extended family who enjoyed spending time together playing sports, playing cards, enjoying good food, dancing and singing, and they were all full of laughter.


I’ve been looking at pictures of my Uncle Tom which range from dashing to silly. My favorite picture of him, with me and my mom, shows my mom on my Uncle’s shoulders and me on her’s and our arms outstretched.  We are all beaming, like we’ve been laughing up a storm. How strong was he to have an adult woman on his shoulders and a child on top? My Uncle Tom was strong beyond belief in body and spirit.


I remember wrestling with him when I was little which was no small feat since he wrestled in school and was able to palm my head and hold me out at arms length anytime he wanted to. However I learned that if I yanked his arm hair, he was pretty quick to let go. But besides being extremely strong, my Uncle Tom was extremely loving, gentle, and pretty darn funny. I remember being on an inter island flight going from Oahu to Maui and Tom’s big body was folded tightly into the very tiny seat on the very tiny plane and there was a lot of turbulence so the plane was really bobbing around in the sky and Tom was truly green. I’d never seen anyone green before, but he was cracking jokes the whole time. Takes a true wit to joke and laugh at yourself when you’re bright green.


When I saw my Uncle right after Christmas, his body wasn’t what it had been and I knew he was struggling with pain, but our visit was full of laughter, funny stories and his beautiful spirit shown brightly in his blue eyes. I’m truly grateful to have had such a wonderful Uncle and he is forever in my heart.

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May I Have This Dance?

Sep 15 2006 Published by under Family

Tom dances with his niece Olivia on her 16th Birthday. He always said she was the treasure of our family.

He Grew Fast!

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