In life you rarely come across individuals that just simply captivate you, inspire you, and descend knowledge upon you with every breath. Tom Cundy was one of those personalities. This was a man that was able to take every lesson, mistake, and experience work in his favor, and in embracing that practice he built a character and foundation that was steady, unwavering, and compassionate, yet just. He had the ability to see past societies barriers, and to make everyone around him feel like they were the only person in the room. He taught me how to be better, how to remain positive, how to prioritize, and how to be patient in literally every story he would tell me. Tom would recite his stories as not only to entertain, but to see if he could pass on a life lesson. Those of us fortunate enough to have been on the receiving end of those stories are better people for it.
I can only speculate, but think Tom Cundy would want to be remembered as a man that fought with every cell in his body for what he believed in, what he thought was fair, and did that in order to leave behind a legacy, not professionally, but a legacy inspiring all of us to do the same; to do what we think is right in our heart. He was kind to everyone, and in in combining that with a larger than life personality is what made him so loved, and is what will keep him alive forever. Everyone knows the stories of the USMC, his dedication to our nation's Veterans, the days of taking coal from the train to heat his parent's house, growing up poor, his achievements as an athlete, his persistence in sales, his quintessential salesman inside, his unwillingness to give up, his stern belief in being on time, and honest, his ability to take 10 minutes for ANYONE, his commitment to charity, his love for his family, his ability to put on the show, and yet his ability to go every morning to Publix for bananas to the same cashier, and pull out the check card.
I will miss you my friend. All I can do now is promise you that I will do my best to carry on some of what you have taught me. Dave and I will rekindle the stories over a Bud Light or four (your beer of choice). Thank you for loving me, and lending an ear. I know I will never have another friend like you ever again.