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Born: Aug 07, 1934

Date of Passing: Jul 26, 2020

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August 7, 1934 - July 26, 2020

After a long and fulfilling life, the family of Thomas Mills announce his peaceful passing on Sunday, July 26, 2020.
Tom was born to Robert and Julia (nee Hrychany) in Winnipeg, MB. He spent many of his childhood summers in Cooks Creek, MB on the farm where his mother grew up. He attended Hugh John MacDonald School and Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute. After a brief stint in the automotive industry, he joined the Winnipeg Fire Department in 1955. Tom met the love of his life, Ruth Bartko, in 1958 and they married two years later in Pine River, MB. Tom and Ruth raised three children in Tom's childhood home on McDermot Avenue. Over the years, they opened their doors as a second home to many family and friends.
Tom was a licensed amateur radio operator (VE4SE) for over 55 years and enjoyed communicating with other Ham operators from all over the world. He spent countless years volunteering with essential communications for flood interventions, marathons, emergency services and the Canadian Red Cross.
After serving over 39 years on the Fire Department, Tom (affectionately known as "Squeaky") retired as a Battalion Chief but continued to serve with the Honour Guard until 2019. He and Ruth enjoyed another 26 years together, more recently celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary in May. They spent many of their retired years travelling across Canada in their motorhome, spending time with their children and grandchildren, and continuing with volunteer work together.
Tom was well known for being the life of the party and was no stranger to pulling elaborate pranks. He was a great public speaker who rarely needed a microphone to be heard. Aside from the need to be 30 minutes early for absolutely everything, his patience, dependability and kindness were among his defining qualities. He was fiercely loyal to family and friends and could always be counted on at a moment's notice.
Tom is survived by his wife Ruth, daughters, Wendy (Jim) and Judy (Tim); grandchildren, Christa (Damon), Jason (Kate), Darryl (Chantelle), Daniel (Kate), Hillary (Craig), Aydan, Brandt and Lauren; great-grandchildren, Kayla, Courtney, Haleigh, Sophia, Emily and Bronson. He was more recently predeceased by his son Ken, and brother Robert.
Funeral service and burial will be deferred to a later date.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Fire Fighter's Burn Fund.

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 01, 2020

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • I knew Tom since I became a Amateur Radio Operator in 1983. He was always friendly. He was a "fixture" in the Ham Radio Community in Winnipeg and everyone knew him. Tom will be missed. Michael Mark, ve4mm - Posted by: Michael Mark (Friend) on: Aug 02, 2020

  • My brother Bill Moore was a St. James then Winnipeg firefighter. He passed away in 1990. Just prior to Bill’s death, his wife Jan had two brain aneurysms and was in the hospital for several months through the winter of 89-90. Bill was at the HSC all day every day and evening. Although they were not on the same platoon, Tom told Bill, “In my back yard are two parking spots — one is mine, one is yours.” This permitted Bill to plug in his truck and walk to the hospital. We will all be forever grateful to Tom for his big heart. A truly great, gentle man. - Posted by: Ian Moore (Brother of colleague ) on: Aug 01, 2020

  • Ruth it has been some time since our paths crossed. I am sorry for your loss. From our shifts together and the odd work social gathering I fondly remember how much you loved Tom and how kind he was. May he Rest In Peace. Trish Bergal - Posted by: Trish Bergal (Former work colleague of Ruth) on: Aug 01, 2020

  • Tommy was a good firefighter, a good Officer and a good human being, the latter being his most noticeable quality. He helped me be a better firefighter, a better radio operator and, by example, a better person. Thank you, my friend. My condolences to Ruth and his family. - Posted by: Scott Miner (Colleague) on: Aug 01, 2020

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