Thomas Patrick Schram
Beloved father and grandfather Thomas Patrick Schram, 89, was reunited with his family in heaven June 17, 2013, in Klamath Falls. Surrounded by his loving family, he left peacefully.
On July 8, 1923 in Campbell, Mich., Tom was born the third of five brothers to George and Mary Ellen (Murphy) Schram. Mary Ellen traveled from Ireland during the Ellis Island days and Tom's Irish Catholic heritage would become a framework for his life.
In 1934, he moved with his family to Klamath Falls. He attended Sacred Heart Academy and Henley High School, where he played football and raised calves with his brothers for 4-H. His cherished childhood memories are from living at Lamb's Camp near Chiloquin when his father was an engineer with the railroad, and at Mt. Calvary Cemetery when his father was the caretaker.
Tom joined the Army
National Guard when he was 17 and served for four years before moving to Eugene in 1945 to work with his brothers Jack and Mike at Springfield Plywood. He spent time in Idanha, Ore., working in the sawmill with his father and attended meat cutter's school in Portland in 1952. He later returned to Klamath Falls to work for his dear friend Ron McDaniels.
He met his true love Glenna Jean Greer and they married at Patrick's Creek Resort in the Redwoods June 17, 1973. In 1975 they welcomed their only daughter, Jennifer Ellen Schram. Shortly after, Tom drove his trademark '72 Chevy truck to Alaska to work on the pipeline and would work in this industry for the next 10 years. Sleeping in his camper and waking up to bear cubs and wolves, he felt at home in the Alaskan wilderness. After his wife's death in 1982, Tom settled down to raise his only child. Suddenly a single father, he committed to raising her well.
He worked for many years with Roy Bowers Excavation. Tom lived on "both sides of the track" and gained infinite wisdom from his life's journeys. Tom had many adventures, but Jenny was his light and center and he loved her deeply. He said that he had to be mother, father, brother and sister to her and he worked to provide the best life that he could. Jenny will remember him best for being there through the good and bad times and his strength, unconditional love, sense of humor, and fierce love of family. Tom's deep faith, humility, and acceptance of all beings will always be with her.
One of Jenny's happiest memories of her father was when he would throw her in the air and she would say, "up in the sky, Daddy." With gratitude for everything he taught her, she held his hand until his last breath. Tom was most proud of his grandchildren and loved watching Skyler and Aidan play sports. During his final weeks he would tell Maria and Piper that they were wonderful nurses. Recently, Tom was proud of Skyler for graduating and following in his footsteps by enlisting in the Army National Guard.
A devout Catholic, his faith was strong and admirable. He donated money to St. Jude's monthly and prayed for the sick children. A proud Irishman and Notre Dame fan, the only time he missed church was for the Fighting Irish.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Glenna Jean Schram; parents, George and Mary Ellen (Murphy) Schram; brothers, Ned, Jack, Jimmy and Mike Schram; and niece Nancy Zeitner. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jenny (Schram) and Joe Wheeler; grandsons, Skyler Thomas Schram and Aidan Patrick Schram; granddaughters, Maria Jean Wheeler and Piper Angela Wheeler, all of Klamath Falls, Ore.; sister-in-law, Charmalee Schram, Eugene, Ore.; nieces and their spouses, Mary Ellen (Schram) and Sean Mart, Bend, Ore.; Cecilia (Schram) and Mike Warren, Eugene Ore.; numerous great-nieces and nephews; cousins Eugene and Rita Murphy, Dublin, Ireland; and the rest of the Murphy family in Ireland. He also leaves special friend Gudrun Stroud, who was truly an angel in his life, and his lunch buddies, Bill and Larry.
A special thank you to his caregiver, sweet and loving Corina Williamson, Klamath Hospice, Dr. Mohamed Siyad, Father Roga, Tom and Jennifer Small, Angee Wright, everyone at Lake Park Towers, and Jason and Sara Ward for their loving care and support.
At Tom's request, private cremation will be conducted and close family and friends will gather for a celebration at a later date. Donations to assist with costs can be made in his name to Ward's Klamath Funeral Home.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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