• Johnson Funeral Home
    Morgan Hill, CA
In partnership with the Dignity Memorial® network
Thomas Joseph Applebaum 1940 - 2013
Print   Close
Monday, May 04, 2015
I just wanted you to know that no matter what I love you and am so lucky to have had you in my life for the short amount of time. I learned a lot from you and will forever be grateful. Rest in Peace Tom
Love your Daughter In Law
Sunday, May 03, 2015
My Dad was an outstanding person. Always willing to give a hand. I remember a particular instance when we were growing up. We came across a young woman - apparently on drugs and alone. My father took her into the fast food restaurant nearby, got her some coffee and made sure someone called the ambulance to ensure she would be taken care of. We were in a busy area, everyone else seemed to ignore the woman or just in general not want to deal with her. I do think that my dad was her guardian angel on that day. My Dad was one to ensure that people were taken care of. Always willing to help, give a kind or encouraging word. I have so many thing I still need to discuss with him. I miss him everyday.
Sunday, May 03, 2015
The ROG's (Retired Old Grumps) was the informal group who
would get together on occasion for lunch. We all worked together in
telecommunications in the past and enjoyed getting together several times a year.
Sunday, May 03, 2015
"So sorry about your dad. I remember Uncle Tom always smiling. We are thinking of all of you."
Sunday, May 03, 2015
I always wish we saw each other more often, but especially now I'm *hating* the distance. I wish I could be there with you guys. Your dad was wonderful - always so kind and happy. We miss you and are thinking of you all. and hugs.
Sunday, May 03, 2015
I always wish we saw each other more often, but especially now I'm *hating* the distance. I wish I could be there with you guys. Your dad was wonderful - always so kind and happy.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014

I am extremely sorry to hear the news about Tom.

I knew Tom during my days with Nortel in San Ramon from 1988-1999. Then, after a gap of 13 years, I met him again on Feb.26 at a meeting in Santa Clara that had been convened to discuss Nortel's termination of their retiree medical plan. Since that meeting, he and I had been in touch every 2 or 3 days by phone or e-mail, exchanging information about medical insurance plans, jokes and other stuff.

I owe Tom a personal debt of gratitude for putting me in touch with Phil Robbins, a medical insurance broker, to help me and my wife find a good medical insurance plan to replace the Nortel plan.

Tom was always a very cheerful person and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Thank you for letting me know. My prayers go out to Tom and his family.

I have many fond memories of Tom. He had a brilliant mind and was one of the funniest people on earth. More importantly, he was a great mentor to me early in my career. I learned a lot from him and those lessons I have carried forward and taught to others. I am sure Tom is up in heaven right now, holding court and cracking up anyone who ever made a career of selling technology to the State of California. Thinking about Tom will always bring a smile to my face. He was one the good guys and he helped many, many people along the way!


Kelly Anderson
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Laura and family,

I also worked with your dad at Nortel and think back on those times with great affection. When I first met your dad, I remember thinking who is this guy? What a truly unique character, always the smartest guy in the room, but he shared that intellect with us generously and made us a great team. Man was he funny, at least I think he was because my IQ only allowed me to understand about 25% of his jokes. I laughed because of the sly smile and Applebaum laugh that was infectious. Your dad was an awesome guy to work with and a good friend.

I am truly sorry for your loss.

Rick Westcott
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I was in the Premier Accounts group at Nortel with you Dad. I also had the good fortune to work with him just a couple of years ago while he was doing consulting work. What a gracious and kind man. He made things better.

Sincerely with sympathies for your loss,

Mike Zauner
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Dear Laura,
I'm so sorry for your loss....
Your Dad was a very nice person. He had never forgotten me even when I transferred to other Wellbound clinic. He would always send me funny stories and jokes to cheer me up and make my day great and easy going. He will surely be missed.
My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
Mavic Dayandayan
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I can't say how sad I am with the loss your dad, my heart aches for you and your family. He was such a big important presence in everyone's life that he touched, he will be missed by all. Of course, His family most of all , he loved and was so proud of you kids and grandkids,, we took turns bragging a lot! Keep the happy memories close and time will help. I wish I could make it easier.
Love, aunt Susan
Uncle gene sends his love and condolences too.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. I worked with him at Nortel during the crazy days of the tech boom. Tom was a big name at Nortel then and all of us remembered his professionalism and incredible sense of humor. Although he was one of us in Global Accounts, management always looked to Tom for advice and direction because he was the smartest guy in the room and knew how to get things done. We all looked up to Tom and he was very kind and would do anything to help us get through the tough issues.

I made contact with Tom a few months ago and we spoke several times reminiscing about the old days. That is when I learned that he was suffering from some health issues. Despite that, he was the same Tom with his self-effacing sense of humor and his can do attitude. We will all miss Tom because there will never be another one like him. He always made such a big impression on the people he met.

Please accept my deepest sympathies to you and your family. We will remember Tom as one who made all of us and our lives better.

All the best….

Henry Wong
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I was heartbroken to hear the news of your father's passing. Although, newly met, your dad made an impact in our business relationship! What a wonderful legacy he will leave and each of us have a small part of him in our hearts with fond memories. Please share details once in place for the celebration of his life.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Your dad was a really good guy - funny, smart, thoughtful and kind. I genuinely loved him. I definitely have a few stories. I am sure Gordon will too. We all sat together at SBC. Your Dad and I did a big consulting project together about 5 years ago as well. We stayed friends and would go to lunch a few times a year.

I remember on the consulting job your dad said, “It is like we are trying to make a cow out of 800 pounds of ground beef.” I still use that one.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
A little before noon today, I got an email from an old friend's daughter. Her dad, my friend, passed away this morning of a heart attack. He was 71, a year older than me. His name? Thomas J. Applebaum.

Tom and I went way back — to 1971 when both of us worked at Western Union (yes, it once was a going concern). After WU went in the toilet, Tom and I stayed in the telecommunications business. Tom went to California, I went to Seattle. Tom went to work for the nation's biggest telecommunications operations, while ran my little one-man consulting shop.

Over the years, Tom and I hatched a number of plots; some worked, some didn't. But the main thing is Tom was one of the smartest , cagiest, innovative and extraordinary people I've had the good fortune to know. He also had one of the most acute and abstract senses of humor ever encountered. The fact we kept in touch for forty-two years says something.

Had Tom and I lived closer together — he was in Morgan Hill, CA and I'm in Snohomish, WA — I have no doubt we would have come up with something. Something big. In fact, Tom gave me the idea for Global Office, a significant improvement to my Desk/Flex product. It was a hit. Tom also got me into Tandem Computers, my first big software customer, and later into Cisco Systems, where I cleaned up. That Jo and did better than OK during the 1990s was Tom's doing. I owe him big.

The last time I saw Tom was in a truck stop diner somewhere in South Bay back in 2006. It took about two days to arrange the meet, but there we were. Tom hadn't changed, except for shaving off his mustache. We had dinner, sat around shooting the breeze, then I was off to pick up a load of walnuts. And what did we talk about? New things. Ideas. Possibilities. Over the last five years or so, Tom and I kept in touch by phone three or four times a month. He always had something new on his mind.

God broke the mold.

I'll be saying Kaddish.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Some 20 years ago, I was seated in an outdoor café and your dad. A guy with an obvious poodle mix comes walking by and as you would expect, your dad struck up a conversation by asking the guy what mixes were incorporated within his dog. The guy was at a complete loss and began stammering. Your dad jumped in and recommended that if asked the same question again, he should indicate that "a famous, renowned vet by the name of Dr. Tom assured him that his dog's mom was a poodle and his dad definitely came from a good neighborhood".

Spin forward 20 some years and we adopted a poodle mix by the name of Sadie. When asked about Sadie's breed, I tell them what the renowned vet Dr. Tom assured me of.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Please accept my deepest sympathies to you and your family. Knowing Tom, this will be one hell of a bash. His spirit and the joy he brought to our lives will live in us forever.

All the best…

Henry Wong
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I am really disappointed that I won't be able to attend. Your dad used to joke with me that he wanted me to speak as his memorial. I studied for several years and was ordained as an Interfaith minister. The organization that I attended studied all religions. Your dad called it the "Spinagogue," because he said I just had to spin a wheel for the religion I was following that day. So funny!

Major Skinner
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Eulogy for Tom Applebaum
(by: Avinash Chitnis)
(May 27, 2013)
Like some of you here today, I got to know Tom at work in Nortel
Networks in San Ramon. And I am confident that many of my
colleagues will share my view that Tom will always be missed.
Tom was a very knowledgeable, helpful and cheerful person.
Whether the subject was how a particular technology worked, how
our products compared with those of our competitors, or what was a
reasonable price we should charge for them, Tom always knew the
answer or, just as important, he knew where to find the answer. And
this was particularly important for it was in the days before the
Internet became widely available. And Google was not yet even a
gleam in its inventors' eyes!
Around 1992, I got involved in a project to prepare a bid to replace a
very large number of analog telephone lines in Pacific Bell. It was a
high-priority project and was codenamed Project 21 because it was
going to stretch into the 21st century. Tom was a bundle of energy
and enthusiasm, helping all of us to develop a strategy that was both
technically viable and commercially profitable. Even details such as
what binders and section dividers to use for the proposal did not
escape his attention. As a result, we won the multi-million dollar deal
that continued to provide revenues to Nortel for several years.
And so it was with many other projects.
We lost touch with each other when I left Nortel in 1999 and, I
believe, Tom did the same a year or two later. It was therefore a very
pleasant surprise when we found ourselves in the same room in late
February this year where various lawyers and medical insurance
experts were assembled to explain what was going to happen when
Nortel terminated their retiree medical plan.
The documentation provided by the lawyers was complex and
confusing. There were a host of acronyms and terms to deal with –
HMO, PPO, doughnut holes, caps, deductibles, copays, etc. Tom
was initially just as confused as me. But he said, “Don't worry, I know
just the guy who can help us.” It seems he had been introduced to
Phil, a medical insurance broker, who specialized in helping people
like us sort through various options.
So a couple of weeks later, Tom and I had a 3-way conference call
with Phil who explained to us the various options and helped us
choose the Medigap Plan (also known as Plan F).
From then on, I looked forward to a long collaboration with Tom on a
variety of topics – jokes, politics, religion, philosophy – and so on.
So I was extremely shaken when I got an e-mail from Tom's daughter
Laura on the morning of April 7, saying that Tom had suddenly
passed away just a few hours ago.
Some people pass on and are soon forgotten. But Tom, with his
sense of humor and his willingness to pitch in and help anybody in
need, will always live on in the memories of all of us here today.
Tom, good friend: Rest In Peace.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I saw this note yesterday and couldn't think of how to respond but I had a dream last night that let me understand to just write down some stories, so I will later this evening :-)

...here's what spilled out of my fingertips after the dream:

Rest in Peace Tommy, my old friend.

Some of your –isms from back in the Nortel days still float around in my head:

- referring to the sound of the traffic on the freeways you spent so much time on as “dinosaurs screaming” as reference to all the petrol being burned to make the noise

- an old line from a Star Trek episode where the aliens looked at the humans as “ugly bags of mostly water”

And a story you said you used at least once on Nancy to explain why you got home late from work and smelled like you'd been drinking: a tomato truck had spilled it's contents all over the highway and the road was blocked so all you could do was stop at the bar. And you smashed tomatoes all over the front of the car to back up the story! I think you said the same thing would work for an egg truck in a pinch.

We never could figure out what our relationship was since you were old enough to be my dad but we had so much fun together as friends. After you were retired and some issue came up with Nortel's medical benefits I had to keep reminding you I wasn't old enough to retire and didn't have those benefits. I think the last time was when I finally said “Tommy, remember, I'm not as old as you yet!” and you cracked up saying you wouldn't hold it against me.

Probably the most enduring memory is of all the help you gave me while I was building my motorcycle, showing me how to make parts out of aluminum and helping solve the puzzles I kept encountering. There was the one time I rode it down to your place so you could make some wooden rails to help hold my wheelchair in place on the back – looked really cute but it was busted to smithereens by the time I got home! I still have some of the pieces that survived.

Don't remember if you got your motorcycle before or after I had mine on the road but I remember the “business” trip we took to Sacramento once where I was going to show you the scenic back route home. Bummer that I got a little lost and made an unexpected turn and lost you in the process and you had to take the long way home. I think that was the most pissed you ever got at me, which wasn't very much. Still sorry about that!

And then there was what you told me the family called the “lost weekend” when I was out for a joy ride on the motorcycle and got a flat tire, got towed and a new tire and it went flat again – just as I happened to be in Morgan Hill! Hey, I know someone here! You came over like the cavalry with a trunk load of tools and compressed air but we still couldn't figure out what the problem was so you drove me all the way home to Fremont, went and got another tire the next day and came back and got me. Somewhere near the end you finally figured out what the problem was in the first place: the darn valve stem had a crack in it that only leaked when the wheel was spinning and that's why it would hold air all day until I tried to ride it home!

I hope your thoughts of me were equally enjoyable and I thank you for making the effort to keep in touch after our ways parted. It always made me smile when you called.

Rest in Peace Tommy, my old friend.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
About Tom:

Tom Applebaum and I met back in 1971 when I went to work at Western Union. We hit it off immediately and we stayed in touch and we stayed friends all these years. I knew Tom even before I met my wife. Here in the last year or so, Tom and I kept in regular phone contact and conversations I'll deeply miss.

My best to all,

Tom LABelle
Wednesday, May 07, 2014

May 4 at 10:57 AM

Sorry I don't have any pictures or particular stories to tell - in my little world there are 'The Good Guys' then all the rest - your Dad ranked very high on the Good Guys list.

Sunday, May 04, 2014
Didn't get to see much of him growing up but do remember his laugh and how funny he was. Can see he was able to pass it on the next generation :) Our thoughts go out to you all. Love, Alex, Jen and Ryan.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
We consider ourselves among the fortunate ones to be friends with Tom.
Forever remembered and forever missed
Friday, April 19, 2013
R.I.P Tom weve known you for alot of years, and know my dad Dennis Pentz misses you alot, his good friend! our sincere sympathy goes out to your family. Ricki and Mike Dunn (Pentz)
Sunday, April 14, 2013
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Tom, rest in peace. Our sympathy to the family. Kirk and Valerie Yates
Thursday, April 11, 2013
I remember running up and jumping into his arms then we would settle into his lazy-boy chair where we would fall asleep together.
He always made me feel special and important and completely proud to be his daughter. I always believed that I had the coolest dad.
Just like Joe said, there was NOTHING the man couldn't do. He was simply amazing.
In his honor I will be kinder to strangers, more generous with my friends, more patient with my son and I will master the perfect paella.
I love you Dad, wherever you are, I know you are entertaining everyone with your fabulous stories and your culinary tips!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Rest In Peace Tom
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
One couldn't have asked for a better father. He could build you a house, repair your computer, work on your car and cook you a gourmet dinner. There was nothing he couldn't do. He was the epitame of the word "Dad". He will be missed by so many. The world just won't be the same.
©2015 Legacy.com. All rights reserved. Guest Book entries are free and are posted after being reviewed for appropriate content. If you find an entry containing inappropriate material, please contact us.