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Thomas Tico


1942 - 2016
Thomas Tico Obituary
Thomas Michael Tico

May 15, 1942 - February 4, 2016

Committed to living an artistic life, Tom Tico dedicated his life to his passion as a haiku poet. In the early 70's, he determined conventional employment was no longer for him. He resigned from his work with the US Postal Service, and dedicated his time and energy for the remainder of his life to creative and personally satisfying pursuits. While his commitment to this path was not without challenges, Tom never wavered from his absolute certainty that he was living his life the way he needed to in order to be true to himself. Tom was a complex person, and yet simple in his clarity and his pleasures.

Hundreds of Tom's English language haiku from the mid 60's onward have been published, as well as many of his haiku-related articles and readings. In 1992, Tom co-edited The San Francisco Haiku Anthology. He subsequently self-published a book of his own work, Spring Morning Sun in 1998. Later in his life, Tom developed a passion for photography, and applied the same lens evident in many of his haiku - the beauty of the marriage between the natural and the urban environment.

Tom lived an active life, and particularly loved to play basketball and Frisbee. He played both well, from his youth into his 60s, with a smooth, graceful style. He taught his four children to play Frisbee from an early age, with patience and joy in their progress "reading the Frisbee". Tom loved to walk, which he said gave him the opportunity to happen upon inspiration for his haiku or his photography.

Movies and books were two of Tom's other life-long enjoyments. He had an extraordinary knowledge of movies, directors, actors and authors. Family and friends knew to expect nearly every conversation with Tom would include references to books, movies or actors that somehow tied in with the topic at hand.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Mabel Tico, his younger sister, Janice Tico, and his half-brother, Chuck Byrns. Tom is survived by his brother, Edward Tico; children: Christopher, Alexander, Minerva and Nathanael Tico; daughters-in-law: Wendy, Kristin and Rebecca; and grandchildren: Jonathan, Alex, Jordan, Morgan, Reeva, Adrian, Gabriella, and Sawyer.

Born and raised in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury, he also lived nearly every year of his life in the city he loved. Tom Tico passed away peacefully on February 4th due to a degenerative lung disease. On the last night of his life, he reflected with contentment on his life "as an outsider", the significance of being able to take satisfaction in the character of his children, and his readiness for whatever came next.


Misting across
the cold bright stars -
my own breath

- Tom Tico
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 28, 2016
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