March 26, 1949 - July 11, 2018
Thomas “Tom” Michael Little of Milwaukie, Oregon
On the evening of July 11, 2018 Tom passed away at Kaiser Hospital in Clackamas, Oregon. He was 69 years old.
Tom was born on March 26, 1949 in Hood River, Oregon, to Cecil Donald Michael and Donna Delores Little. Growing up, his family relocated frequently due to his father’s military service. Moving so much made it difficult for Tom to sustain friendships, so he committed himself to playing sports. He excelled at baseball and football. Tom also learned to play both the clarinet and saxophone.
Tom went to Galileo High School in San Francisco, California for his Sophomore and Junior years, living on the historic Fort Mason Army Base. Tom played on their first string football team. One of his teammates was O. J. Simpson. His younger siblings used to stand at the fence of the Fort and look down at the games to watch Tom play. His senior year of high school, Tom’s father was transferred once again, so Tom attended Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California. This is where Tom met and became lifelong friends with James “Jim” Higginbotham. Jim later married Darlene, and the two of them remained Tom’s closest friends.
After graduating high school, Tom joined the US Air Force in 1969 and served for 8 years in Korea and at Travis Air Force Base (AFB). While stationed in Korea, Tom met Myong (Moon), and the two married in 1972. Later they moved back to the United States where Tom was stationed at Travis AFB. There, Tom and Moon had two sons: Tommy and Victor. In 1978 Tom was honorably discharged from the US Air Force at the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Tom graduated from the University of California at Irvine (UCI) in 1979 with a BA in Social Ecology. After graduating, Tom moved his family to Portland, Oregon. In 1980 Tom began working at Consolidated Freightways (which later became CNF). He worked there for 28 years and retired in 2008 as an accounts payable clerk.
Tom was a devoted father and husband, always providing for his family. He loved fishing and camping, often taking the family camping and his sons fishing in the Mt. Hood National Forest, along the Clackamas River. Over the years they travelled to many locations for family vacations, including Cannon Beach, Prineville, Cape Lookout and Fort Stevens State Parks. He also encouraged his sons to play sports, and even coached soccer teams at times. Tom also passed on his love for music to his sons, as both play guitar, and other instruments.
Tom loved all animals, but cats were his favorite. His family was blessed with two long living cats: Bandit who lived for 19 years, and their current cat Tornado, who is 16 years old and missing Tom.
Tom’s older son, Tommy, assisted as his driver and support these past few years as Tom’s health declined. Their second son, Victor, married Laurie in 2003 to bring a daughter into the family to their delight and joy. Tom was given one of the greatest joys of his life this year: a grandson! Wesley was born on March 27, 2018 (the day after Tom’s birthday) to Vic and Laurie! We are thankful that Tom had time to love his grandson.
Tom is survived by his wife of 46 years, Myong; oldest son Tommy; younger son Victor and wife Laurie, and grandson Wesley; loving younger siblings: Tina Leeds (James) of Redlands, California; Teresa Alter (Brian), Redlands, California; and Donald Little (Kimberly) of Hollister, Missouri.
Nieces and nephews: Stephanie and Jason Marsh; Matt, Nicki, Elliana and Cole Leeds; Jeff and Melinda Alter; Adam, Jenny, Lucia, Franklin and Rosalie Cavallero; Kristen and Joshua Burton; Amanda Little.
Cousins: Dennis, Kathy, Cole, Amy, Jade, Rusty, Christina and Samuel Webster; Valerie Webster; Shane, Pam, Ava, Nathan, Ian and Grace Webster. Uncle: John Webster.
Tom will be laid to rest at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.