[Note: Of all the ubiquitous annual reviews, my favorite is The Lives They Lived in the New York Times. Death and the assessment of one’s life is among my favorite things to ponder. A good funeral makes me want to be more faithful. A good life brings everlasting inspiration.]
- How to grow older.
- How to love my spouse.
- How to be a pastor.
- How to be a parent.
When we were colleagues in National Capital Presbytery, Tom was the wise older colleague without being that guy. Clergy colleagues, you are probably familiar with those guys who need to pastor-splain even to those of us who’ve been in professional ministry for a while now. (Seriously, I met a pastor who told me how to officiate a wedding for 30 minutes at an ordination party in 2017. We’ve been ordained about the same number of years.)
Instead, Tom shared how having younger friends kept him sharp and how eating hot dogs – at least twice a year – was life-giving and how there was no “T” in Schmid and how being a “Golden Roo” was the best and how Beth was perfect.
He adored his kids and grandkids, and he encouraged them to be the people God created them to be.
When Tom became my second friend to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017, I was stunned. We had just hung out in Sherman, TX in May and he was as chipper as ever. At least that’s what he said.
Tom breathed his last on Christmas Day which is fitting in terms of what he believed about both the Incarnation and the Resurrection. How beautiful to experience both miracles on the same day.
He was a great and good man.
Photo of Tom from his son Bennett.