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BESSE – Thomas “Tom” Clayton

July 10, 1940 – November 11, 2010

Tom Besse, beloved husband of Irene of Calgary, passed away suddenly on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at the age of 70 years.

Tom was born in Biggar, SK. He graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Washington. After graduation, Tom was hired to create the Fine & Performing Arts Department at Mount Royal College in Calgary, where he instructed for thirty years. He was a very dedicated family man and his biggest gifts were his children Michael and Nicole and his treasured grandchildren.

Tom loved spending his summers at Birch Bay, WA reading a good book, watching the tides, eagle-spotting, tending a cozy fire, filling a glass of wine and wandering down the street to visit with friends and neighbours.

Besides his loving wife Irene, Tom is survived by his son Michael and daughter- in- law Debbie-Lynn of Surrey, B.C., his daughter Nicole and son-in-law Michael Lipnicki of Calgary, AB, his grandchildren Tristan and Dylan Besse and Matthew Lipnicki. He is also survived by his sister Norma (Raymond) Schindelka of Calgary, AB and brother Norman (Betty) Besse of Airdrie, AB.

Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Friday, November 19, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Tom Besse, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200

Offer Condolence for the family of BESSE – Thomas “Tom” Clayton

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Condolence Messages

  1. Lorna Lorentz (Edwards) :

    Our hearts and prayers go out to your family during this difficult time, Tom was a wonderful man and will be sorely missed.

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  2. Denise (Arnott) SIemens :

    Dear Irene and family:
    I was saddened to read of Tom’s passing in the Herald today and offer you my deepest sympathy. Cherish the happy memories until you meet again. Perhaps the following thought will bring some condolence:
    “Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy”.

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  3. Peter Strand Rumpel :

    My deepest sympathies to the whole family.
    Tom was a great joy in my life and constant inspiration. His love for his students and for teaching was immense. I always have remembered my days with him fondly and always will.He constantly inspired me to achieve more and better for myself on and off the stage.He will be missed.

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  4. I was a MRC Theater student of Tom’s back in 1986-88. He was a wonderful teacher and person, who will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched.

    My deepest sympathy to all of his family at this time.

    Terry McLennan

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  5. David and Gwyneth Parker :

    Dear Irene and family:
    We were very sad to read of Tom’s passing in the Herald today. Thinking of you with Deepest Sympathy.

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  6. Dear Irene, Nicole and Family,
    We are all so sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept our sincere sympathy at this very difficult time. May Tom live long in your fond memories of a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and I’m certain friend to many. With heartfelt regards,
    Ann Donald, Sabrina Thornton, Ashley Farris

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  7. Irene and Family,
    We were so sad to hear of Tom’s passing…Tom was our neighbour and friend for 19 years. We will miss his warm, friendly greetings and feel blessed to have known such a wonderful man. We will remember Tom as a kind and compassionate person, especially to our three daughters, and for his love of animals. We will hold Tom, and your family, in our prayers Irene. God Bless.
    Cheryl McNeil, Victor Taboika, Viktoria, Allison and Leigh.

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  8. Jody Cummins - Lambert :

    It is with fond memories and a sad heart that I remember Tom. A passionate & compassionate teacher so many years ago. I thank him for giving me the opportunity to shine & for introducing me to Liza Minelli & scotch! May the journey beyond this place be welcoming and warm Mr. Besse.

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  9. Dear Irene,
    Please accept my deepest sympathy at this time of your loss. You know that I understand “loss” only too well. I hope that all the music that surrounds you will give you the comfort you need at this difficult time. God Bless you and your family.
    Marion

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  10. Elfi Gleusteen :

    Irene,
    What a shock, what a sad event! I am so sorry to hear news that bear profound grief and rob our lives of people who enriched it so.
    Please accept my deepest sympathy and sincere condolences.
    Elfi Gleusteen

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  11. I am still so sad to hear of this loss…Tom was a wonderful person. Easy going, witty and a people person. I am grateful for the knowledge he gave me through my years working at Irene’s school. Tom was always supportive, and ready to crack a joke. I always admired his grace and class…everyone who knew him, loved him.

    Our hearts are with Irene and her entire family during the sadness. Always remember to keep the memories brighter and talk about Tom every day, in spirit. We were all blessed to know him.

    Lisa Ammirati & Russ Porosky

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  12. Ida and Mario Pavlica :

    Our deepest sympathies to you Irene and your family. We were saddened to read in the Herald of Tom’s passing. Our hearts and prayers go out to you all during this difficult time.

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  13. I was saddened to hear of Tom’s death. Please accept our condolences. He was a wonderful teacher and inspiration.

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  14. Alan Van Sprang :

    It was such an honour and a great privelage to have been taught by Tom at Mount Royal.
    He helped me develop the key elements of becoming an actor and an even more compassionate person, he taught me the art of humility and to open my eyes to the world around me.
    You will be missed Tom, I feel blessed to have spent some great years with you.

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  15. My sincere sympathies to Irene and the rest of the family. Tom truly made a difference in my life and I thank him for giving me such great opportunities to develop and grow.

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  16. Bob & Joan Dubask :

    Dear Irene and family. We were so shocked to hear of Tom’s sudden passing. Our deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. Both Joan and I will be out of province on Friday, but our thoughts and prayers will be with you during this time of sorrow.

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  17. Jacqueline Nowlin Donoghue :

    It was with shock and sorrow that I read of Tom’s passing. Our years together at Mount Royal were challenging, creative and rewarding. Tom was an exceptional, caring teacher, a loyal friend, a great host and a dedicated, loving father who always put his family first.
    May your happy memories be with you always. Jacqueline Dunckel Donoghue.

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  18. Philip Sarsons :

    … Thank you, Tom. You’ve been very kind.

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  19. My daughter Zoe Heath was a student of Tom’s at Mount Royal. He was such an inspiration and dedicated teacher to his students. He inspired her to greatness and taught her to always follow her dreams. He will be sadly missed.
    Mary Heath
    and family

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  20. Barbara (Nourse) Wells :

    Dear Irene – A friend in Calgary just sent me the information of Tom’s death. Please accept my deepest sympathies and prayers during this difficult time of sadness.
    Barbara (Nourse) Wells

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  21. Nicole
    I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. It was also a great loss, to everyone who has met him. Your dad was a wonderful person who always made sure everyone was having a good time. The times I spent with the family, especially in Birch Bay, were wonderful times and I will always remember how happy he was at Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
    My thoughts are with you and your Family
    at this time.

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  22. Ken Robson and Judy Eifert :

    Dear Irene and Family,
    We were deeply saddened to learn of Tom’s untimely passing. He was both our respected colleague and loyal friend for so many years, and we will sorely miss him. Please accept our sincerest condolences.
    Ken Robson and Judy Eifert

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  23. Viktoria McNeil-Taboika :

    Irene,
    I was saddened to hear about Tom’s passing. My prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time.

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  24. On behalf of myself and the residents of Canyon Meadows Retirement Residence, who have enjoyed your concerts over the years, we wish to send our condolences with our deepest sympathy.

    Take care, Irene

    Carolyn Gabbs (nee Anstey)
    Enrichment Coordinator
    Canyon Meadows Retirement Residence

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  25. Anita Lisiecki :

    Dear Irene and Family,
    We are deeply sorry about Tom’s passing.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Anita, Lis and Jan

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  26. Dear Friend,
    I am very saddened, my prayers, my thoughts are with you.
    Millions of warm love-filled hugs,
    Jan

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  27. Janice Mitchell :

    Love, Life and Death are all a part of this temporal world. My heart and hugs are with you and your family Irene.

    Be well my very dear friend.
    God Blesses.

    xoxo

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  28. Dear Irene:
    My sincere sympathy goes out to you on your loss of Tom. He was such a fine man and will be missed by many.
    Jan Wittig

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  29. Dear Irene,
    All of us at the Children’s Festival were very sorry to hear of your loss. Our deepest condolences go out to you and your family.

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  30. Michael & Rosalyn Martin :

    Dear Irene and family,

    We wish to extend to you our deepest sympathy on the death of your husband. My parents had a home at Birch Bay village and we spent 25 wonderul years every summer loving it there also.
    Warmest regards,
    Rosalyn Martin

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  31. Thank you, Tom, for your patience and guidance. I always remember my days at MRC with fondness, due in no small part to yourself. It was a pleasure then to have known you, and remains a blessing today. My heart reaches out to your family. Peace to all.

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  32. Michelle Dumanski :

    Nicole, Michael, and Auntie Irene
    Our hearts are heavy as we say goodbye to such a wonderful person that made a lasting impression on us all. You all did Uncle Tom proud with your memorial yesterday and we will continue to pray for you at this time of great loss. All our love to our dear Uncle Tom, may your spirit dance and sing among the stars.

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  33. LAZZARO & ALBA MAUTONE :

    Our deepest regrets and condolences to you and your family on this loss of your beloved Tom. This event is an unfortunate side effect of life and I am sure Tom lived his life to the fullest.

    Love and Peace.

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  34. Consul Irene Bakker :

    Dear Irene and family,
    My sincere condolences with the passing of your husband. It will be hard for you all now. I remember vividly the concerts at your home and your hospitality.
    I wish you a lot of strength in this
    very difficult time.
    All the best
    Irene Bakker
    Hon. consul of the Netherlands

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  35. Dear Irene,
    The Speech Department of the Conservatory enjoyed a special relationship with Tom for all his many years at MRU. We appreciated his gifts and confidence, evidenced at such a young age.
    Blessings on you and your family.

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  36. Gord & Debbie Moffatt :

    Dear Irene, Nicole and Michael,

    We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family. You are all in our thoughts.

    Gord & Debbie Moffatt

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  37. Jennifer Henkes Inglis :

    Tom, thank you for giving so much of yourself to us, your students from MRC. You are remembered fondly and your lessons live on.

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  38. Dear Irene:

    I was so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. We were on holidays and therefore this note is late. He appears to be a wonderful, refreshing, kind, creative and loving man. Please accept our sympathy and thoughts. May you have the strength and courage to carry on with your wonderful but changed life.
    Art

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  39. Bud and Brenda Van Iderstine and Family :

    Irene, Michael and Nicole,

    Our deepest sympathy at this time. We just learned about Tom’s passing yesterday, Dec 10/10. Our family treasures times with you all and Tom at “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in Birch Bay.
    Bud remembers fondly “growing up” with cousin Tom in Edmonton, and as a boy always looked up to Tom with a great deal of love and respect. That love and respect never faded.

    All our love!

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  40. Barbara Klebanoff :

    Dear Irene,
    We recently learned of the passing of your husband, Tom. We know that you are bowed with sadness and grief, but we also know what your spirit is and that you will grow and thrive, as you always have in the face of adversity. We mourn the loss of a devoted husband and father to your wonderful children and send to you all our sympathy and prayers. Love,
    Barbara Klebanoff and Tony Settari

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  41. It’s with incredible sadness that I just learned of Tom’s passing and only wish I would have established contact again sooner! Like many, I was a student of Tom’s at MRC, back in the early 80’s and respected him greatly.
    I always wanted to Thank him for guiding me along and encouraging me during those early College years and for giving me the confidence to continue on no matter how difficult things became. He will be truely missed.

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