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Tom (Tooner) Hedges

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Tom (Tooner) Hedges Thomas Smith Hedges was taken into rest on November 16, 2007. Tom was a three-time Lymphoma survivor, who celebrated life to the fullest and with courage. He passed away peacefully in his sleep after suffering years of physical impairment. Tom grew up in Kansas City's Brookside neighborhood and moved to California in the late 60s to study Electrical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, where he received a bachelor of science degree. He later moved to the San Francisco Bay area where he obtained a master's degree in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He went on to further studies in Electrical Engineering and software design just shy of a doctoral thesis. Tom was a pioneer of early graphics art tools and sound card development for the Mac. He started his own venture with partner Mark Zimmer by founding Fractal Design Corporation in Santa Cruz, Calif. Painter and Dabbler, natural-media graphic applications for the Mac, became immensely popular. Fractal merged with another company in February 1997 to form MetaCreations. The Painter software Tom and Mark created in the mid-90s is now in its 10th edition and owned and marketed by Corel. In later years, Tom lived in semi-retirement with his wife. He pursued consulting work by using a voice-controlled interface, a tongue stick, and a foot pedal to overcome the physical disabilities that resulted from cancer treatment. Tom and his wife Robin traveled widely and devoted their time to family and friends. On October 3, 2002, Tom was honored with the prestigious Semi Award for his role in the development of GDSII streaming format, a standard for IC design tapeout, at Calma Company during the early 80s. Tom was born the eldest son of Horace S. Hedges and Georganne Combs Hedges of Kansas City, Mo. He is survived by his wife, Robin Hedges, and two children, Colin and Broghan Hedges, of Aptos, Calif. He is also survived by his younger brother Christopher Hedges, sister-in-law Marilyn, and his nephew Andrew, all of Kansas City, Mo. A private memorial service was held for family and friends on Tuesday, November 20, 2007, at the Darling Fischer Chapel of the Hills at 615 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, Calif. The memorial service included Tom's favorite music from the Beatles and eulogies by Christopher Hedges, Daryl Wise, John Nogatch, and Mark Zimmer. Following the service, friends and family gathered at C.B. Hannegans, a favorite restaurant of Tom's. For special giving in Tom's memory, please send donations to the Lymphoma Society or Shriners Children's Hospital.
Published in San Jose Mercury News from Nov. 20 to Nov. 25, 2007
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