• Johnson Funeral Home
    Morgan Hill, CA
In partnership with the Dignity Memorial® network
Thomas Joseph Applebaum 1940 - 2013

Thomas Joseph Applebaum

This Guest Book has been kept online until 5/8/2015 by Laurie.
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.

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