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Thomas F. Orton


1951 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Thomas F. Orton Obituary
Thomas F. Orton

Born May 30, 1951, Pasadena, CA, died March 14, 2017 at his home in Edmonds. Tom was preceded in death by his parents George and Frances Orton of Seattle. He is survived by his brother Steve, and partner Gail Longhi, of Seattle, brother Rob and sister-in-law Jane Orton of Gig Harbor, brother Patrick Orton and brother-in-law Richard Schlichting of Seattle, also by his niece Katherine and her husband Jordan Pomeroy and their daughter Ella Jane of Seattle and two nephews, David and John Orton, of Gig Harbor.

Tom grew up in Tacoma and Seattle, attended St. Joseph School in Seattle and Seattle Prep. He received a BA at Seattle University and an MA in creative writing at the University of Montana. He was a published novelist and free-lance writer. His book, Kenneth Callahan, on the northwest artist, was selected for specific mention in 2004 by the Washington State Librarian.

Tom kept his writing career alive by working at Elliott Bay Books, Beks Books and Second Story Books in Seattle. He loved literature and the physical presence of books and tried to convey this appreciation to others. In 1999 he publicly thanked his customers for "allowing him to put good books into their hands". Tom created the blog Rogue Rhythm: Parkinson's and the Rest of Life, an informative and often humorous account of his experiences with Parkinson's Disease.

Tom sustained friendships from grade school and every subsequent endeavor of his life. His many friends in turn sustained him in a seven year battle with Parkinson's Disease that in many cases went well beyond the requirements of friendship.
Published in The Seattle Times from Mar. 23 to Mar. 24, 2017
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