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Tom Oswold, Jr
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Obituary for Tom Oswold, Jr

Tom Junior Oswold (known by everyone as Tom Oswold Jr.) was a first-generation American, born in 1929, of immigrant Norwegian parents. His childhood was spent on a farm near Bellingham until the family moved to Seattle when he was in junior high. After graduating from Ballard High School, he attended Western Washington State College for a year where he played basketball and met his wife Dorothy, a cheerleader. They had eight children: Tom, Jan, Joan, Tracey, Kris, Katy, and two sons, Jay and Toby, who did not survive infancy.

Tom could have been Hemingway’s inspiration for “The Old Man and the Sea,” having spent his entire professional life chasing fish. He first went to work in the Alaska fishery at the age of 14. He then had a 45-year career, beginning at age 19, as the skipper of several research vessels for the University of Washington College of Fisheries: The Onchorynchus, The Commando and The Alaska. In 1961, in a moment of adventurousness, he took a one-year sabbatical from the UW for a job with the United Nations World Health Organization, moved the family to the West Indies, and taught more modern fishing methods to local fishermen on the island of St. Kitts.

Tom loved bird hunting, salmon fishing, Husky football, playing bridge and poker, a round of golf, an occasional off-color joke, rolling dice or sharing a drink with his friends, and his seasonal trips to Arizona for warmer weather and the chance to win a buck off his golf buddies. He was known for his humor, strong opinions, love of family, devotion to friends, and willingness to help anyone in need. His upbringing taught him that hard work was the way to a successful life and he imbued that belief into all, his children.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Tom Sr. and Sigrid; his wife, Dorothy; his brother, LaVerne and sister, Geraldine; his son, Tracey; and his granddaughter, Jackie. He is survived by his brother, Harley; five children; several foster children; eight grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and his love and companion, Barbara.

His funeral will be on Wednesday, April 25th, at 1 o’clock at St. Charles Catholic Church in Burlington, with a reception following at The Skagit Golf and Country Club. In lieu of flowers donations may be in, in Tom’s name to: Catholic Community Services, 100 23rd. Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144, Camp Fire Samish, 1321 King Street, Suite # 3, Bellingham, WA 98229, Son of Norway, 2245 NW 57th St, Seattle, WA 98107; or National Brain Tumor Society, 55 Chapel Street, Suite 200, Newton, MA 02458.

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Previous Events

Funeral Mass




1:00 PM
St. Charles Catholic Church

935 Peterson Road
Burlington, WA 98233


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