Stayton – Tom, 89,
died Sunday, July 14 in Stayton. He was born in Chicago, IL to
Sam and Margaret (Tuohey) Pugsley. Shortly after Tom’s
birth, the family moved to Cedar Rapids, IA, where Tom grew up
with his older sister, Mary and brother Joe.
Tom was drafted into
the U.S. Army out of Coe College in Cedar Rapids in April
1943. He was sent to Camp McCall in North Carolina and placed
in the 17th Airborne Division and trained to fly in gliders
and also as a radio operator.
Tom was then sent to
Pasadena Jr. College as part of the ASTP program to become an
engineer in the fall of 1943. The program was closed down
before he could complete because of the need for more soldiers
In 1944 he was sent
to the 62nd Signal Company for six months in Monmouth, NJ to
become a high-speed intercept radio operator. From there he
went to Petaluma, CA to listen in on the Morse code
communications from Japan. These codes were then sent to
Washington D.C. to be translated.
Tom was sent to
Washington D.C. after the bombs were dropped on Japan. In 1946
he was discharged from Arlington, VA.
Tom went to join his
sister, brother and mother in Pasadena, CA. He was married to Jean
Miller and moved to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon.
They had two children, Joan and Michael. The family moved back
to Berkeley, CA. where Tom continued his education and
graduated from the University of California and went to his
first teaching job at Richmond High School.
In 1971, Tom met Pam
Hutchinson and her daughter, Mary, who was 4. They were
married in Berkeley, CA., on March 25, 1972. They moved to
Aptos, CA and then to Watsonville where their son, Jonathan
was born. They raised their children in the small town of
Aromas, CA until 1987, when they moved to Bend. Tom had
retired from teaching in 1980, but kept his hand in by
substitute teaching in Oregon. They moved to Prineville in
1991 and to Stayton in 2002.
During his life he
loved his family but also loved all children, traveling and
painting. It would take us forever to get through a store
because he had to stop to talk to all the children he saw. He
painted all through his life in both oils and watercolor, and
later in gouache and acrylic and had several one-man shows.
Tom built many model airplanes out of balsa wood; you
can see many of them hanging above the children section in the
Stayton Public Library.
Tom is survived by
his wife: Pam Pugsley of Stayton; children: Joan Best of
Oregon, Mary (Chris) Stewart of California, and Jon (Joan) Pugsley of Oregon;
grandchildren: Ginger Howard, Brandon Kleiser, Thaddeaus
Kleiser, Garrett Stewart, Zachary Pugsley-Demarest, Nathaniel
Pugsley-Demarest, Benjamin Pugsley-Demarest,
Rebecca Pugsley-Demarest and Ryele Bledsoe; great-grandchildren: Sean
Howard, Riley Howard and Domanik Kleiser. He was preceded in
death by his parents, brother, sister and son, Michael.
celebration of life will be Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm
at the Bird & Hat Inn in Stayton. In lieu of flowers,
contributions may be made to Wounded Warriors or the Stayton
Public Library Foundation. Serving the family, North Santiam
Funeral Service, Stayton.