Thomas Neil Tucker, 79
“How do you write an obituary for such a precious, fiery soul? The following words will be our best attempt. This is for you, Dad:”
On July 22, 2020, Thomas Neil Tucker was called to his eternal home with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Tom spent his 79 years forging his family’s path while serving his devout Christian faith. He lived life to its fullest.
Tom was born on June 30, 1941, in Midland, Michigan, to John and Esther Tucker — the second of four children. He graduated from the Honor’s College at Michigan State University, becoming the first member of the Tucker family to earn a college degree. While working toward his Bachelor of Science in Physics degree, Tom married Patricia Marie Oaks on Sept. 20, 1962. As the two newlyweds began their nearly 59-year marriage, he continued his education at Purdue University, earning a Master of Science in Solid State Physics degree in less than a year.
Tom began his career at Dow Chemical in Saginaw, Michigan, while still attending high school. In 1971, he accepted a position as a product marketing manager with Motorola Semiconductor. He and Patricia moved to Tempe, Arizona, with their three young sons, where Tom continued his professional career in the semiconductor materials, device and equipment industry. In 1984, he became president and general manager of Westech Systems, Incorporated, until 1993. With his extensive knowledge and substantial international business expertise, he founded Laredo Technologies Incorporated, a high technology firm specializing in consulting services for CMP (chemical mechanical planarization) equipment, consumables and processes used in semiconductor manufacturing. During a career spanning over 40 years, Tom registered several patents that made cutting-edge improvements to technology that are a part of everyone’s daily life today. In 2006, he retired to finally enjoy Montana’s untamed beauty.
Tom was a natural leader who was devoted to his community. For 16 years, he served as president of the Many Lakes East Homeowners Association. With a fiery persona and unyielding loyalty, he never backed down from his faith-based beliefs or his steadfast sense of right and wrong. With a passion for travel, Tom visited locations around the globe for both business and pleasure. His sense of adventure never seemed to find its end, and his love of the outdoors prompted him to be an avid camper, hiker, fisherman, and an infrequent golfer. When at home, he found great joy in gardening, always cultivating more vegetables than his family could ever possibly consume. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends — especially if it involved a well-cooked meal. A good conversation and reason to laugh was always time well spent with him as he especially had an uncanny memory for details. As walking was becoming more difficult, he made time for abbreviated walks with our dog Sophie.
Tom is survived by his loving wife, Patricia; his three sons, Michael and his wife Carmen in Kalispell, James and his wife Susan in Las Vegas, and David and his wife Tara; the grandchildren, Donovan, Brendan and Ashley; his sister, Judy, of Saginaw, Michigan; his sister, Jean, of Midland, Michigan; and several members of his extended family located around the country.
He was preceded in death by both his parents, and his brother John. As a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, our family will miss him dearly. He valued any time with friends and family as a blessing. Yes, Tom will be sorely missed.
There will be a small family service at Glacier Memorial Gardens with Pastor Lloyd Pierson of Faith Covenant Church officiating. A memorial service is planned, hopefully, for later this year to celebrate Tom’s life.
In lieu of flowers, donations to our local churches would be a greatly appreciated gift.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home, Kalispell.