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Samuel Thomas “Tom” Pugsley
November 28, 1923 – July 14, 2013

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 overseas.

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.

A potluck 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.
 


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