A life well lived… Thomas Vanderweel departed on his final journey to heaven on February 18th at the age of 67. He peacefully took his leave surrounded by family and his loyal dog Teez who valiantly tried to make him stay.
Tom was born in upstate New York to Thomas J. and Margaret L. Vanderweel. His travels took him around the world as a Merchant Marine. He settled and raised a family in California before being transferred to Libby Montana to provide oversight on the Asbestos Superfund in 2001 until his retirement in 2018.
Tom was well known for his integrity, honesty, kindness and as being non-judgmental. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and was generous with providing support, performing good deeds and donating to worthy causes. As a foster parent, a youth leader, a volunteer building homes in Mexico to being the Exalted Ruler of the Libby Elks Lodge he led and inspired others to strive to be better and to always do the right thing. He was an accomplished and respected father, husband and friend.
Some of the things he enjoyed most were golfing, fishing, bowling, snowmobiling, target practicing, and vacationing with friends and family. He loved hummingbirds, talking politics, and sports and in laughing out loud until tears flowed. He had a contagious smile, a twinkle in his eye, a bounce in his step and a cheerful whistle in whatever he was doing. Many of those that visited in his final days were reminded and shared memories about him being “the master of the snore”.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Judy Schoonheim Vanderweel.
He is survived by his wife Kari Vanderweel, his son Jason Vanderweel (Janis), daughter Carrie Vanderweel (Dave Hargrove) and son Ryan Vanderweel (Sandahl); his brothers David Vanderweel (Terry) and Peter Vanderweel (Lynn), and stepdaughter Jana LaCelle (Mike), and stepsons Dustin Martell (Kacie) and Brandon Martell (Katie Rau) and nieces Rijka Jacoby (Jason), Rebecca Giarratana, Rachael Vanderweel and nephew Jacob Vanderweel.
His retirement dream was to spend time with his grandchildren Ryder, Cienna, Rome, Jett and Jaxon and step grandchildren Levi, Colton, Connor, Michael, Kailee, Alenna, Davin, Chase and Keithon.
Tom’s final resting place will be in Canadensis, PA however a Celebration of Life will be held in Libby when the weather improves followed by a tribute round of golf. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
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