Jul. 22, 1936, to Jan. 5, 2023 (age 86)
On Jan 5th, after being admitted to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Tom told the attending nurse that he needed to “take a break” during routine checks.
He then drifted off for an afternoon nap, closing his eyes for the last time. He is survived by his beloved wife Bev, children Andrea, David, and grandchildren Shane and Summer.
Tom was born on July 22nd, 1936, in Edmonton, Alberta, eldest son of John and Montana Croft and big brother to Charles. He attended school at Victoria High, while also earning his pilot’s license (his “wings”) as an Air Cadet.
He attended UBC, graduating with a degree in education, and started his career teaching in Alert Bay, Campbell River and North Vancouver before moving to Squamish in 1962. In 1967, Tom and family then moved to Kenya, working on a Canadian government development program, where he taught in the Department of Sciences for five years at Kenyatta College in Kenya.
Upon his return to BC in 1972, Tom took up a position with School District 48, teaching biological sciences and math in Howe Sound Secondary School.
A strong proponent of education, he also earned a graduate degree (MS) from the University of Oregon before finally retiring in 2001 as the principal of Brackendale Secondary School.
Although Tom’s profession was in education, his heart was always that of a pilot and sailor. Besides flying planes in his youth, Tom also became a professional CYA skipper, teaching sailing on the waters of Howe Sound and the Gulf Islands. He enjoyed being active, and was a member of the Squamish golf, squash and curling clubs for many years.
In later life, after moving to Qualicum Beach in 2005 to be nearer the grandkids, he also became a keen motorcyclist and could be seen riding around central Vancouver Island on sunny days (or heading abroad for the sun with Bev in the winters).
There will be a celebration of life in Squamish, with the date and venue to be shared with friends and family once confirmed.
To send condolences to the family, please visit www.yatesmemorial.ca.