Thomas J. "Buzz" Tomaskie, 56, passed away peacefully at home with family by his side on Nov. 5, 2007, from cancer.
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Buzz was born in Great Falls on Oct. 3, 1951, to John and Beverly (Krause) Tomaskie. He grew up in Helena across from Spring Meadow Lake at the Tomaskie farm. He graduated from Helena High in 1970. In 1972 Buzz graduated from the Helena Vo-Tech with an associate's degree in electronics and machine shop.
He married Janet Kilmer on Jan. 13, 1971. They were blessed with two daughters, Jennifer and Sharole. Janet passed away on June 3, 1982.
In 1972, Buzz joined the military. He proudly served 35 years in the National Guard and worked as an avionics mechanic for 33 years. Since 2000, he devotedly served four different duties out of country .Buzz retired Dec. 16, 2006.
He met the love of his life, Katherine L. (Welch) Matson, and they were married on Dec. 29, 1988.
Buzz enjoyed hunting and taking numerous trips in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He enjoyed fishing, woodworking, picture framing, and playing card games, especially pinochle.
In 1992 he discovered his life's passion, scuba diving. Buzz became a master scuba instructor and had numerous students; he enjoyed teaching and sharing his experiences with them. He really enjoyed traveling the world scuba diving with his wife Kathy and friends. Over the years Buzz dove 998 times; just two shy of his 1,000 dive goal. With the help from his friends, Buzz was very thankful for his final dive in October of this year. Buzz belonged to Lewis & Clark Search and Rescue, Montana State Dive Association, the Helena Scuba Club and was a member of the Cory-Dullum VFW Post 10,010.
Buzz had a contagious belly laugh that filled the entire room. Family and friends will forever feel his absence.
Buzz is survived by his wife, Katherine; daughter, Jennifer (Brian) Willet and grandsons,Tyler and Dalton of Eugene, Ore.; daughter, Sharole (Eddie) Bertelson and grandson, Brock of West Linn, Ore.; stepdaughter, Lanae (Keith) Vetsch of Helena; stepson, Melvin Matson of Bozeman; parents, John and Beverly Tomaskie of Helena; sisters, Patty Lefferdink of Helena, Shirley "Shug" Ingram of Havre; brother, Robert "Bobby" (Debbie) Tomaskie of Helena; sister, Betty Lou (Danny) Moseley of El Paso, Texas; aunts, uncles and numerous nieces and nephews.
A vigil service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12 at Hagler-Anderson Funeral Home, 650 Logan St., Helena. Mass service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Saint Cyril Methodius Catholic Church, 120 W. Riggs, East Helena.
Memorials may be sent to St. Peter's Hospice and/or St. Peter's Cancer Research Center, 2475 Broadway, Helena, MT.59601; or to Lewis & Clark Search and Rescue, P .0. Box 473, Helena, MT 59624.
Local arrangements have been entrusted to Hagler-Anderson Funeral Home.
650 Logan Street Helena, MT 59601
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 11, 2007