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Saturday, April 8, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm (Mountain time)
Our hearts are broken to announce the passing of Thomas John Wagstaff, husband, father, brother, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle and friend.
Tom was born August 6, 1941, in Ogden, Utah to Ernest E. & Lucille Corbett Wagstaff. He was the second of three sons and when it was to his advantage liked claiming the woes and unfairness of being the middle child. He died peacefully in his sleep March 28, 2023.
Tom was born with a stubborn, demanding, and rebellious attitude. During his eighty-one plus years on earth he proudly and meticulously honed these traits to absolute perfection. He recalled taking charge of his life at a fairly early age. His first day at school, for instance, he quickly decided there was no need to ever spend more than half a day there, acting on that decision almost daily. Prior to that he discovered the sooner he made a scene at the barber shop the quicker he got the lollipop and sometimes didn't have to suffer through the haircut.
About age five Tom was on his tricycle wanting to get to the other side of the street. He pedaled out into traffic ignoring an oncoming pickup truck believing it would stop. It didn't. He remembered seeing the truck grill bearing down on him seconds before he was hit. Although he was mostly unhurt, he never forgave the driver for "totaling" his trike.
When Tom was seven years old, he joined the workforce as a door-to-door doughnut salesman. It was a fairly easy job, and the doughnuts were fresh and warm and really delicious. This caused the profit margin to be almost nonexistent which was pretty discouraging. Thus ended his first business venture!
At age ten, he began delivering the Sunday newspaper. He hated that job; the papers were heavy; it was too early – and always dark. He talked his Aunt Gladys into buying the papers from him and delivering them herself every week. That proved to be way more profitable than the doughnut endeavor.....and didn't take up as much of his time.
As a teenager Tom worked as a stock boy at Stimpson's Market. After graduating from Ogden High School, he was employed by Automotive Supply where he worked for several years. The job he enjoyed most, however, was with Union Pacific Railroad retiring after more than 40 years as a brakeman conductor. Although he physically left UPRR, emotionally and mentally he never did. He maintained a lasting friendship with many of his co-workers. Always happy to see them and swap stories. Some humorous, some not so much, some scary, and some a little on the questionable side.
From a very early age, Tom had a great love of horses. He would often hitch hike or ride his bicycle from central Ogden to Taylor where he kept his mare. Many of his teenage and young adult years were spent indulging this love. He enjoyed riding, training, breeding and grooming horses. He and a friend spent most of their spare time in the saddle exploring the mountains east of Huntsville.
For many years, he looked forward to the yearly deer hunt with his family and friends. He loved the meals his dad cooked over the campfire – especially the fresh liver and onions. He was an active participant in sharing stories about the adventures of the day when everyone in the camp took their turn in remembering, misremembering, retelling and embellishing the experiences of previous hunts.
In January 1991 Tom married Floy Bishop Wingate and gained two sons: Mitchell E.Wingate and Michael G. Wingate and three grandchildren: Christopher White, Angela White and Matthew White. He soon became known as "Gram'pa Grump" a title he proudly wore taking wicked delight in reminding the kids why they referred to him as such.
Tom's “toys” were his pride and joy.....as long as they had a “Bayliner” or “Ford” insignia. He also enjoyed buying, selling, collecting and trading guns. Another favorite pastime was shopping for clothes. It was important to him to look nice and he preferred to always do so in clothing that he had just purchased. More often than not, it took as many as four changes of clothes in the mornings before he found the right combination for the day.
Tom had a passion for the water and referred to Bear Lake as his happy place. The cruises to Caribbean islands where he could spend time on the beaches were some of his favorite adventures. The many houseboat trips on Lake Powell were a close second. He cherished the time spent boating, fishing and sightseeing with special friends at Lake Powell, Strawberry Reservoir, Flaming Gorge and Bear Lake. He enjoyed many years of RV travel and camping with these same friends who were dear to him because they understood and tolerated his idiosyncrasies, demands and “Tommy Tantrums”.
He especially enjoyed the holiday dinners with his family. His self-assigned job - which he took very seriously even though it was exhausting - was the supervision, tweaking and/or "improving" of all things related to that particular day. He was also the self-appointed back-seat driver of any moving vehicle he was in when he was not the driver. Much valuable advice was freely dispensed to anyone courageous (or foolish) enough to act as chauffeur.
Tom is survived by his wife Floy, brother Dennis (Vickie) Wagstaff, son Adam (Cindy) Wagstaff, stepsons Mitch (Pat Weaver) Wingate and Mike (Jean) Wingate, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Tom was Preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Lisa Wagstaff, his brother Ed Wagstaff, and a favorite uncle,Tom Corbett.
Graveside services will be held Saturday April 8, 2023, at 1:00pm.
A special heartfelt thanks to Atlas Hospice staff - Kori, Crysten, and Riley for taking such kind and compassionate care of Tom during the past few months.