Former resident, engineer, ‘Mr. Fixit’
Tom Wildman. (Courtesy photo)
Thomas Grayson Wildman, 63, of Acton, died of complications of a heart attack May 23, 2019, at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, surrounded by his loving family.
Tom is survived by his wife, Susan, and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Catherine. He also leaves his two brothers and their families: James Wildman and his wife Jan of New Milford, Connecticut, and their children Leigh, Andrew, and Mark; John Wildman and his wife Jane of Cincinnati, Ohio, and their sons Jack and Patrick; and his cousins, Sarah Geer, Anne Geer, and their families, along with many friends.
Born January 12, 1956, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tom was the son of Walter B. and Patricia (Grayson) Wildman. He fell in love with computers at the age of 12 and went on to graduate from Case Western University with a degree in computer engineering. He had a lifelong love of computers and all things electrical, along with a fascination with NASA and the Apollo missions. After college, he worked for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Apollo Computer, and later Hewlett-Packard as a project manager. For the past two years he was employed at Robinson’s Hardware in Framingham, making dear friends of his coworkers and customers in the store. The Wildmans were residents of Harvard from 1990 until 2000, then moved to Bolton where they lived for 18 years before moving to Acton a little over a year ago.
By far the most important thing in Tom’s life were his children, Ellie and Catie. He was very involved in their lives, being a great soccer dad, carpooling daily to school, and always being their Mr. Fix-It. He emphasized kindness and compassion, and taught them to appreciate the intricacies and engineering in nature and the world around them. He was so very proud of the adults they had become.
Tom loved being outdoors, hiking, canoeing, and just relaxing outside with his tea at sunset. During his teenage years, he canoed the Seal River in Canada with friends from Camp Kooch-i-ching. He cherished hiking Mt. Wachusett with his daughters nearly every October.
When Tom and his wife Susan bought a horse farm in Bolton, he became an adept farm manager, maintaining the property and caring for the horses. (His personal favorite was the 34-year-old gelding named Chad.) The family’s animals adored him—dogs, cats, horses, goats, a rabbit, a guinea pig, and a tortoise—not only for his generosity with his animal cookies but for his gentleness and love. Tom was involved in his community as well, serving for many years on Bolton’s Election Committee and Park and Recreation Committee. He volunteered for over 10 years with the Just ‘Cause Walk, along with his wife, raising money for breast cancer research and the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden in Harvard. From the outpouring of love and sympathy we have received, Tom will be most remembered for his kindness, his calm and understanding manner, and his ability to truly listen to people from all walks of life.
A celebration of his life and memorial service will be held Saturday, June 29, 2019, at 11 a.m. at the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Tom may be made to the Massachusetts Audubon Society www.massaudobon.org or the Camping Education Foundation at www.campingedu.org (Kooch-i-Ching and its sister organization, Ogichi Daa Kwe). For a life story, directions, or to leave an online condolence, visit www.actonfuneralhome.com.