It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Thomas A. Buchanan, 77, of Coaldale, AB on February 21, 2023 after a short but spirited battle with cancer.
Tom was born on July 25, 1945 to Richard and Eve Buchanan in Vancouver, BC. Survived by his wife, Margaret, his daughters Christene (Scott) and Julie (Stephanie), and his son, Thomas J. (Angela), along with grandchildren Alysha, Syrah, Mikayla, Jonah and Cohen, and great-grandchildren Bennett and Henry.
Tom was a loving father, devoted husband and loved by many in Southern Alberta where he made his home for the last 20 years. He was a techie, an amateur radio enthusiast, a professional photographer, a successful ghost writer, fixer of almost anything that was broken, and talented in most anything he tried. He had a quirky sense of humour and loved nothing more than to banter with his friends and family.
Tom and Maggie met in 1977 and were married in 1980 in Lethbridge. They were best friends and soulmates and moved all over Western Canada together before finally settling in Coaldale in 2003. Tom was well known throughout Lethbridge and Coaldale for his stunning photographs of Southern Alberta. He had a way of capturing the silent beauty of the area. Tom had a longstanding love of the Niko Yuko Japanese Garden and loved to teach photography there. Tom was also a long-standing member of the Lethbridge Breakfast Club and will be missed by his many friends there.
Tom’s proudest achievements were his children, and his legacy will live on through them. His eldest daughter, Christene, lives in Vancouver where she works in a leadership role in healthcare social work and spends time with her partner and growing daughters. With Tom’s encouragement, his youngest daughter, Julie, pursued their shared love of physics and math and is an engineer living in Vancouver with her partner and their two boys. Tom Jr. and his partner live nearby in Lethbridge where he shares some of Tom’s special interests and works as journeyman electrician. All three of his children inherited their dad’s quirky and sometimes dark sense of humour, love of animals (especially cats), and hard work ethic. Tom’s favourite saying to his kids was for them to “Buck up, Buchanan”; wise words shared when they started feeling a little too sorry for themselves. In fact, they have imagined their dad telling them that even now, as they grieve.
Tom was very active in the ham radio community in Southern Alberta and was known by his call sign VE6ARG. He had a long and endearing love of radios after spending seven years in the Canadian Navy as a radio operator and passed that interest onto his son. Tom loved to spend his time teaching others to get their ham radio license, communicating with his local group every Saturday morning, attending all radio related functions in the local area, and could often be found on a weekend rigging up an antenna or two in his or a friend’s backyard.
Tom loved animals and throughout his entire life was surrounded by his adoring pets: many cats and a few dogs. He loved to capture his beloved animal companions on camera and has many photos of them in his home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either the Canadian Cancer Society or your local SPCA. Tom would be so happy to know that through his death, others (human or furry) were helped.
Details of his Celebration of Life will be shared as soon as plans are made.