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Tom Thiessen-Bock

Sep 28th 1989 — Dec 8th 2023 (34 years)


The cosmos is within us. We are made of star stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.

Tom (John Thomas Aaron Thiessen-Bock), age 34, died unexpectedly on December 8th 2023 at St. Michael's Hospital with his family at his bedside, following an unexplained intracerebral hemorrhage. He is survived by his partner Evelyn, mother Cathy, father John (Deb), favourite sisters Megan (Dana) and Robyn (Lucas), 2 half brothers, bonus parents John and Penny, 4 uncles and 4 aunts and their partners, 2 nieces, 2 nephews, and 23 cousins and their partners. He is predeceased by his grandparents, 1 uncle, 3 aunts, as well as Boo, Mowgli, Sadie, Kitty, Maddie, and Princess.

Born in Toronto, ON on September 28th 1989, “Tom the Bomb” is wonderfully remembered first as a fair haired tornado of imagination and mischief. As shepherd and best buddy of “Billy Goat”, Tommy at age 2 loved to escape through unlocked doors, windows and gaps in fences to explore his wider world. Growing up in Keswick and then returning to Toronto, Tom was designated as a gifted student and attended R.L. Graham P.S., Sutton P.S., Bogart P.S., Fairwood P.S., Keswick H.S., and The Student School Sr. H.S., forming numerous friendships along the way, many of which lasted into adulthood.

Rarely one to conform to tradition, Tom toured an expansive landscape of interests - Lego aficionado, drumming dabbler, stencil graffiti artist, computer technology and gaming enthusiast, horror film lover, avid reader, occasional political pundit, space explorer from afar, anti-capitalist, social justice and climate change devotee, seasonal perogie chef, and ever a skeptic of the status quo. To read anything authored by Tom was a true pleasure as he was a gifted writer.

Perhaps to his own chagrin, Tom followed both his sisters' footsteps and attended the University of Guelph where he completed his Bachelor of Arts Honours in Anthropology. His pursuit was more than academic; it was a journey into the depths of human experience. His critical thinking and writing were not just skills he developed, but windows through which he viewed and made sense of the ever-evolving world. Of course, Tom maintained a sense of humour, expressing interest in the UoG Skeptics Society by informing them he was skeptical of their existence.

Along the path less travelled, Tom journeyed far beyond his university routine, highlighted by his time in the Katimavik program in Elliott Lake, Ontario, and Richibucto, New Brunswick. He considered this a pivotal experience in his life, and felt a deep sense of regret when the Canadian government discontinued the program as it was.

Tom adventured onwards, travelling west to the coastal communities of British Columbia, east to the ancient ruins of Spain, and meandering through a multitude of Canadian and American campgrounds. He absorbed and reflected on his explorations, weaving his experiences into his daily life.

His desire to mould the world in front of him with his own hands led Tom to the Welding Technician Program at Niagara College. Combining art, science, and a little bit of playing with fire, Tom found great satisfaction in his work as a welder and craftsman.

In his final home on a horse farm in Georgina, Tom carefully learned the personalities and daily needs of his equine “neigh”bours, often sneaking them extra apples and carrots under the cover of night. His innate empathy and eagerness to understand made him a natural friend to these creatures of human history. Escaping suburbia, he would joke that his farm life had perfectly fortified him against a zombie apocalypse.

To summarize who Tom was in short form is an injustice. To know him was to be humbled by his propensity to dive deeply into subjects that interested him and be amazed by the wealth of knowledge and curiosity he possessed. An artist and a bit of a punk at heart, Tom fiercely loved those in his innermost circle and extended his warm heart to others fortunate enough to cross his path. That he didn't live to face battle in the climate wars, as he predicted, is a tragedy. We can only hope the stardust of which he is made is now exploring the untold depths of space that he was so fascinated by.

In lieu of a Viking funeral at sea, or being launched into the stratosphere, Tom's wishes for his remains have been approximated with aquamation. If this shocks you, Tom would be satisfied.

MEMORIAL PAGE: www.tomthebomb.ca

GATHERING: TBD We hope to organize an opportunity for those that knew and loved Tom to gather and share stories. We're in too much pain to figure that out right now. Check back here or add your email below to be notified when we get our shit together.

DONATIONS: In lieu of flowers, we would like to suggest making a donation to one of the charities below. We've selected a variety of charities that we feel align with Tom's eclectic passions and interests.

Mennonite Central Committee: https://mcc.org/donate
Tom's grandparents (Oma and Opa) were able to leave war-torn Europe and circuitously get to Canada with the help of the MCC. As a peace agency that provides relief during disaster and conflict, the MCC always fascinated Tom.

Katimavik: https://katimavik.org/en/donate/
Katimivak engages and empowers youth by working together to create just relationships and transform communities, the environment and themselves for a better Canada. It was a pivotal experience in Tom's life. His worldview instantly broadened to the plight of the disadvantaged by living and working directly in their community.

Ontario Brain Injury Association: https://obia.ca/get-involved/donate/
OBAI helps people recover after injuries like Tom's intraventricular hemorrhage. His grandfather (Poppop), a neuropsychologist and important person to Tom, made his career around brain injury and rehab.

Food Not Bombs: https://foodnotbombs.net/new_site/donate.php
Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer global movement sharing free meals as a protest against war and poverty. The group believes that corporate and government priorities are skewed to allow hunger to persist in the midst of abundance. Tom had an anti-war and social justice leaning in his outlook of humanity. Pitching in here would support that view.

Helmets to Hardhats: https://helmetstohardhats.ca/about.html
H2H is a non-profit organization that facilitates opportunities in the unionized construction industry for military members, providing them with the best industry wages, benefits, and pension plans through collaboration with Building Trades Unions and Employers. As a passionate welder and anti-war proponent, Tom supported getting veterans into the trades.

Canadian Blood Services: https://www.blood.ca/en/blood/donor-centre-hours-locations
During his one month in hospital, Tom required multiple platelet transfusions. These wouldn't have been available without strangers taking time out of their day to give blood. Please help us pass on this generosity. Whether you choose to do platelet donation, regular blood donation, or register to be an organ donor, all of these actions will directly help others facing critical illness.


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