Thomas Joseph GRUNDY
July 25, 1928 – Hand Hills, Alberta
June 12, 2016 – Salt Spring Island, BC
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Thomas Joseph Grundy, on Sunday, June 12, 2016, at the age of 87 years. Tom’s extraordinary life began on the day he was born, when he came into the world in the midst of wild horses thundering around him at the Hand Hills Lake Stampede near Hanna, Alberta. To have known Tom with his signature white cowboy hat (always tilted ever so slightly to the side), was to admit to a nostalgic era of by-gone days where the character of a man was not measured by what he said, but by what he did. It was a lifetime of character-defining moments that made this man so precious to those who knew and loved him. A journalist summed up Tom best when she wrote; “People write ballads about personalities like Tom Grundy. Nothing of his life is mundane; big wins, big losses, big struggles and big heart”.
When he was 14 years old, Tom’s mother, Sadie, passed away. Being the eldest, Tom left home to work and support his brothers and sisters, while his father was off working as a farmhand and labourer. It was from that time forward that Tom embarked upon a lifetime of adventure, from southern Alberta as a ranch hand on the Bennion Family Ranch, to building bridges in Lethbridge and on the Skeena River, to the oil fields of the Canadian Badlands.
No one had a love of horses like Tom. They were a significant constant throughout his life and a passion of his, from the time he was two years old until his passing. Tom rode horses for much of his life in-spite of some significant health setbacks and when he was no longer able to ride, he could be found leaning over a hitching post, giving instruction and offering gentle guidance to a rider or a problem colt. One of his favourite stories to tell was how he rode his big bay mare, Sunday, through the back door of the Rimbey saloon, up to the long bar and ordered a drink. Another story he loved to tell was about how he rode from the stampede ranch with 150 horses, forging rivers and felling trees to build makeshift corrals for over 200 miles to the Calgary Stampede.
Tom was in love with and happily married to his soul mate, Judy Grundy, and this past June 1st they quietly celebrated 48 years of matrimonial bliss. In their later years, Tom and Judy became pillars in the Salt Spring Island Lions Club where Tom was recently given the Humanitarian award for his enduring service in helping others less fortunate in the community. Tom was also a member in good standing with the local legion and could be found there from time to time enjoying a “beverage” with friends.
Tom is survived by his wife, Jeltje “Judy”, his sisters, Janet Stout, Anita Alderwood, Pearl Stout (Jim), Grace Stout (Ted) and his family; Donald (Alda), Shane (Lana), Shevaun and Liam, Todd (Lynette), Austin, Tristin; James (Francisco), Jennifer and Ciele, Jayden; Robert (Kathy), Ellen (Clay), Lucas; Graham (Bonnie), Samantha (Chris), Shelby (Brian), Damien, Owen, and Haley; Michael (Angela), Brittany and Levi, Chanel and Mikhaela; Colleen (Kerry), Sheldon, Petr, Emily and Grace; Susan (Miles) and Olivia. He is predeceased by his parents William and Sadie, brothers Bill and Fred, brother-in-law Tom Stout and grand daughter, Lexi Jade.
Tommy was special to all who knew him and quick to offer a handshake and a smile. To his family, he was more often than not a quiet, considerate man who never spoke poorly of others and lead by example. He insisted that family take care of one another and love each other. He was a husband, brother, father, grandfather and uncle who was loved deeply and will be missed greatly.
Happy trails cowboy, until we meet again.