29 January 2020

Tom Nogler

My good friend Tom Nogler's heart gave out.

A good man suddenly gone too soon.

There will be a Memorial on 01 February at the Capital Theater on Fifth Street in Olympia, WA.

Since I'm in Việt Nam, I cannot be there. I've sent the following to a good friend and ask that it be read during the Memorial. I'm also posting it here so that others who cannot be there can get a feeling for who Tom was and who he will continue to be in the memory of countless people who were fortunate to know him:

"Thank you, Chris Stearns. Had you not found me sitting in Darby’s front window that Sunday morning and Shanghaied me into “just checking out” the first meeting of what became the Public Power Initiative, I most likely would never have known Tom. I certainly wouldn’t have had the privilege of working closely with him, literally daily at times, for almost two years; and then sharing a meal with him these many years later every time I returned to Olympia. Except for the last time, this past December. Like most of you, I thought Tom would always be here... I figured I’d catch him next time.

"To say that the Tom Nogler I know was THE Champion of Uphill Battles, is to greatly understate it. In our time working together, he happily did everything asked of him and then found much more to do without being asked—wrangling volunteers; asking for donations; standing outside in any weather with his petition board... always wearing the hat that I became convinced he never took off—and always with that Tom Nogler 100,000-watt smile topped-off by two of the brightest, most expressive eyes ever.

"I could go on and on, but I’d be telling you nothing new. You know Tom, and you can still see him looking at you with love.

"There is less than a handful of men on this planet whom have ever called me “brother”, and even fewer with whom I freely used that word. My guess is that most of them are in this theater today.

"Wherever you are, brother Tom, I know you are smiling—thank you for sharing your life with us.

"You will live on within each of us.

"We love you."