Obituary: Thomas William Wright


Thomas William Wright

May 1, 1937 – February 15, 2024


Thomas (Tom) William Wright, 86, passed away peacefully and into the presence of Jesus on February 15, 2024. Tom was born May 1, 1937, in Gary, IN to John and Treva Wright (Somers). He attended Hobart High School, and while in the school band, he met his life love, Janet Carlson. He played the trombone, she played the flute, and their first date was to see the Radio City Rockettes during a band trip to New York City. Voted senior class president and “Most Valuable” to Janet’s “Best Natured,” the young couple married shortly after graduation. They attended Wheaton College briefly, and then began parenthood with the birth of their first daughter.

Tom worked a variety of jobs while in Indiana, including shoe and sewing machine sales at Sears, and as a home delivery milkman. In 1962, Tom, Janet, and their two daughters journeyed to Tucson, Arizona, where they established a new life, and where two other daughters were born. Initially working in home construction with his father, Tom went on to have a successful career, first with Northwestern Mutual Life, then discovering his real love in real estate. Over his 40+ year career, he became well-known and respected for his impeccable integrity and vast knowledge of the Tucson area.

Tom was a born leader and believed in serving his community. He was a member of Tucson’s 20/30 Club, the Optimists, and Association of Realtors Board. Tom was elected to the Tucson Unified School District Board, where he also served as member and president. Tom and Janet were committed Christians and met many of their long-time friends in Tucson, first at Trinity Presbyterian Church, then at Christ Community Church.

With a desire to live closer to family, they relocated to Washington in 2005 and settled in Birch Bay Village. While in Washington, Tom enjoyed working part time with Windermere Real Estate, and playing trombone with the Bellingham Alumni Band. He and Janet continued in their Christian faith, attending Cornwall Church and Birch Bay Bible Community Church.

Tom is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Janet, three daughters, Debby (Neal) Farmer, Virginia (Jeff) Hamrick, and Laurie (Mark) Waslohn; six grandchildren, Candace Bryant, Kevin Farmer, Justin (Elizabeth) Farmer, Michael (Maria) Waslohn, Colton (Krystal) Waslohn, and Tyler (Gabrielle) Waslohn. Tom was also blessed with nine great-grandchildren with a tenth coming in March. Tom is preceded in death by beloved daughter Peggy.

A future celebration of life will be planned for late spring or summer. A special thanks to PeaceHealth’s 4th floor cardiology medical staff, the Birch Bay Fire and Rescue team, and Lynden Christian Care Center staff. To honor Tom’s memory, donations may be made to Birch Bay Bible Community Church, Cornwall Church, or to support a small village school in Kapchorwa, Uganda. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.