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Thomas Allisat

Thomas Allisat

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October-20-14
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December-27-05
Eulogy to Tom Allisat

Tom was my friend.
My earliest memories of Tom are from 1974 at Inverness Park where we played defense for the Carleton Cougars Football club. We were thirteen and this was our senior year. I remember that he wore a big horse collar and J-pads to try and look tough on the field. He wasn’t the biggest linebacker in the league but he was fearless and a natural athlete. We won the B-side championship that year and Tom was awarded the Most Valuable Defensive Player.
Tom’s natural athletic ability shone on the ball diamond where, as a pitcher, he mastered the upshoot – A windmill pitch his cousin Steve taught him. I never played at his level but was amazed at the speed he could generate with that pitch.
Tom was always in good shape. He started working out regularly after recovering from a broken collarbone: Peter Winnia checked him into the boards during a broomball game at General Burns park. Tom continued this dedication to fitness his entire life. He was always so fit and strong but you would never know it – Tom didn’t flaunt or take advantage if his strength because it was a personal thing. I always respected him for that.
At fifteen, I remember sitting in the parking lot of Huron Towers wondering how Tom had pulled together enough money to buy that ’71 Mustang Fastback. Tom was always good at planning and saving. When he had a goal he wouldn’t let anything get in his way. In this case, the Mustang was the prize. We used to sit in those brown vinyl bucket seats and just listen to music, dreaming of when we would get our licenses and where we would go. Later, when Tom did get on the road, I recall always having to pitch in $2 bucks for gas. I was always amazed at how far Tom could make that $2.00 go.
Tom always seemed to have a job. There was this one job at a scrap yard that lasted maybe one hour – Tom was responsible for preparing cars for the crusher by punching holes in the gas tanks to drain the fuel. He forgot to do this for the second or third car. I’ll never forget that grin on Tom’s face as he recounted how huge that explosion was.
We worked together at Cicero’s for a while. What a great job delivering pizzas for $3.00/hr plus tips. One busy Friday night Tom called in to cancel his shift. Frenchie and John were not happy and told him if he didn’t show up he was fired. Tom quit on the spot and never looked back. Later that weekend Tom told me he had a big date that he couldn’t cancel. I think it was Chris. Tom always had his priorities.
Tom and I used to talk, but never about anything serious or intense – He used to save that for Rick Jarret. Those two would ‘discuss’ anything as long as they disagreed about it. One time, in the basement of our townhouse on Chesterton Drive, the debate got so heated my mother actually kicked them out of the house. There was never a winner in any debate. They always agreed to disagree and remained friends.
After high school Tom and I didn’t see each other for a while.
Tom took off to UBC then Western, but we always got together when he came home for the holidays or summer vacation. We’d usually end up riding our motorcycles around town or go somewhere to play Ms. Packman. As I recall Tom was pretty good at that too. Tom had really good reflexes.
After Chris and Tom were married we started to see more of each other. Regular visits to Ottawa usually included a stay with Chris’s family, Tom’s family and at least one visit with Steve, but Tom and Chris always made time to have dinner or a visit with us. It was great to know we were close friends.
Tom and I usually found time for a round of golf too. It was rare that we both had a good round on the same day but there was this one round at the J.S. Woodsworth High School reunion. We both shot 78. To top it off, Tom and I were partners in a match play against Rick and another guy. We beat them bad. Of all the golf I ever played, that was the most memorable round. I remember Tom had that grin – It was a good day.
I had a conversation with Tom a couple of years after he and Chris were establishing their careers in Toronto. He was sitting on a park bench eating his sandwich, watching the people and birds. He decided right there that he didn’t want the promising career at the TSE. There had to be more and he wanted to know.
One life long dream Tom had was to fly fighter planes. He applied to the Air Force, went through a bunch of tests then got accepted into their pilot program. Tom & Chris talked it over for a while, then they decided to decline the offer. Who declines an offer like that? I would have jumped at the chance if I were good enough to get into the program.
Then they changed their minds and re-applied. I guess Tom was good because the Air Force’s offer was still good and he was back into the program. I had a hard time understanding how Tom again changed his mind and turned them down. He explained that it wasn’t fair to Chris or her career. “Fine, I’ll get my private pilot’s license and get a job as an air traffic controller”. Tom had his priorities.
So Tom started visiting from TCTE on weekends until he completed his ATC training. There wasn’t much he couldn’t do when he put his mind to it.
The years went by, we all had families of our own and we still made time for visits and golf. When Tom, Chris and Megan moved to Vancouver we didn’t see each other as much so we started calling more often. It became a regular thing to get a call from Tom on a Friday night. We talked about our kids, the job, renovations, anything. It was great to have a friend to talk to. Tom always had time to listen. He was a good friend.
I’ll always remember the time Chris, Sue, Tom and I went to Mt. Tremblant for a weekend summer holiday. We stayed in a Chalet and had a great time cooking, eating, walking and just talking. There was this large putting green in the back of the Chalet so Tom and I ended up having an 18-hole mini-put championship. We were both on our game and the gallery grew as our chalet neighbors took notice of the competition. On the final hole Tom made a 50-foot put to win. That grin on his face said it all.
It was a good day.
I’ll always remember those good days with my friend Tom.
November-11-05
Chris & Megan, I knew Tommy since we were about 8 or 9 years old. We played fastball (Tommy hated it if you called it softball) together until age 16. Tommy was an awesome pitcher we won a lot of games because of Tommy. Tommy was a grade ahead in school he skipped a year along the way, that put him 2 grades ahead of me at JS. I remember getting drives in his Mustang as a 15 year old it was exciting. (Tommy didn't exactly drive slow). The next time I saw Tommy was about 10 years later at an ATC hockey tournament. We were on the same team again, we spent several hours getting caught up on old times. My dad had passed away at the same age Tommy did and Tommy made me feel very good when he told me how my Dad meant so much to him as his baseball coach when we were kids. Tommy didn't go out with us that night he wanted to get home and be with you Megan because you weren't well and he was very concerned. The next time I saw Tommy was at the JS reunion, he had moved to Vancouver I remember he was very happy that Megan was doing so well. I know Tommy was well respected for his work in ATC in both Toronto and Vancouver our thoughts and hearts our with Chris, Megan and the rest of the family. Scott Forbes.
November-07-05
Chris & Megan
My heart goes out to both of you for I knew the man you called your husband & your Dad. Tom was a very passionate & caring guy. He could be funny but always warm & kind. Sorry Megan, I'm sorry I wasn't around while he was your Dad but I bet he was a great one. He was a great husband. That I was a witness to.
My prayers are with you & Tom.
Love
Jo
November-02-05
Eulogy to Thomas John Allisat

I met Tom in the early 1980's washing dishes at Central Park Lodge Retirement home. He was known as the Egg man and I was the Pot man. No comment on that one. One of his duties was to boil up all the eggs for breakfast. Lots and lots of eggs every morning, and we sang the Beetles tune"I'm the eggman..."
Tommy and I hit it off right away, we were both a little wild, intense and well 20. We would work all day then party at night, work, party, then party some more.
Once in a while we would head up to the quiet hallways of the Lodge, late at night to race. I do not remember who's idea it was, but we raced wheel chairs down the long and wide hallways wheelly style. Tom was very competative and quick to master the art of ballancing on two wheels and rolling quickly down the hallway. Once I got the hang of it, the racing got really intense.
Practically every night after hours Tommy and I would steel up to one of the floors to race.
One of the many calamaties we got ourselves into was when we were racing neck in neck,at top flight when we bumped wheels and I slammed into the corner of a door- way with a very loud crash. As we scrammbled to the exit, laughing histerically and I limping, we heard some old guy yelling and chasing after us. We narrowly escaped back to the kitchen. That was our refuge, raiding the giant refridge loaded with food. There we would plan and plot our next scheam.
Those where great times, so imature, so right on target.
For another laugh Tom and I took this power seminar for selling nick nacks out of the trunks of our cars. That was scary! Tom always seemed to sell all his stuff though.
The year wore on and I got a job with BC Tel and Tommy went back to T.O. But he had to store his beloved Mustang at my sisters house. Promising to come back for it, that's another story. I lost track of Tommy after 1982, his mustang got toed to the impound. I knew he would be pissed about that when he called.

That call came in 1996, when out of the blue I hear this voice, Lester... remember me, Tom?.. Tom Allisat!...he continued to prompt me. Central Park Lodge?... wheel chair races.... remember... Lester?... "Oh my God" was my bewildered response. "Tommy?... really?..." Yeh it's me. I'm calling from Whistler. Lets get together for a coffee tomorrow. I'll pick you up at your house. Just keep a look out for a bald fat guy.
That was the start of a new chapter in our friendship. Now Tom was a professional, devoted husband and father.
What followed was years of wonderful friendship. My wife Maria and I Met Chris and Megan for the first time in 1996. New friendships blossomed and old ones picked up where they left off. This time though Tom was the family man. No mre wheellys at midnight.
Now we played squash, went out for dinners together and met at Star Bucks for our favorite java. I fully enjoyed that adventure as much as the one before, perhaps more, it lasted longer.
Tom was such a devoted father to Megan, always putting his family first, proud of his little girl and committed to his best friend and wife Chris. He was such a good role model for me. Everything he did he did it with zeal,passion and precision. I loved that about him. His intesity his attention to detail. He did'nt compromise. I will miss him, God I already do, as do you all and will, for the rest or our lives.
Maybe someday I'll get another call out of the blue 'Lester... remember me.. Tom!.. Tom Allisat?!
October-30-05
Neighbor Tom
Your passing may have been sudden but the memories last forever, I'll never forget you.
Neighbor Jim

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