Thomas David Symes

June 25, 1931 – April 25, 2020
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr. Thomas David ‘Tom’ Symes on Saturday, April 25, 2020 at the age of 87 years. Tom was born in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan on June 25, 1931, and later moved to the Rimbey Area, with his parents and five siblings. He was the eldest son, and like his father and brothers, had a wicked sense of humor. Tom was a trickster right up till the end. One of his favorite things was a very cute decorative wooden outhouse, he placed in plain sight; which he engineered to catch your eye. Naturally, whoever saw it would immediately open its door, which would trigger the hidden mouse trap set to go off inside. The whole outhouse would blow up scaring the daylights out of his victim. Tom had a great passion for building things; from birdhouses, to houses, and anything in between. Tom was an avid athlete, and early on, chosen to play World Series Ball, in Pittsburg. His eyes would gleam when he spoke of those days, and how it was short lived. Unfortunately the sudden passing of his father, meant he had to come home and provide for his mom, brothers and sisters. This began a long career in road construction; as well as helping with the Warden’s Service, cutting trails and fighting forest fires. Even then, Tom had wild ways of inspiring people and having fun while doing it. In one instance, they were working in Banff, cutting in trails at the top of a ski lift. It was quitting time and his crew could see the bus at the bottom of the long grassy slope. Tom grabbed his scoop shovel, spun it around, sat down, and proceeded to head downhill tobogganing on the shovel. He yelled at the crew “Last one down buys beer!” And was swinging his double bladed axe over his head to keep his balance. Even as a kid, you just never knew if he was going to pull a prank on you, or what to expect. Tom was a force to be reckoned with; whether with a temper, or if his mind was made up about something. As my brother once said; “I would rather take on a grizzly, than take on dad on about something he was mad about, or was determined to do”. Tom was married and divorced twice, and will be missed by his sons, daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was happy to find his soul mate, Lila Ramsey in his later years; and they shared in the same passions for fishing and camping. They were involved in the Leslieville Antique Days, for many years. When Lila passed away from cancer, there was not a day that went by that he did not miss her. Tom was a colorful character and was blessed in having good friends and neighbors. He sold Leedale Hutterite eggs to locals and friends for many years. I am sure some came by just to see what he was building; or to buy one of his exploding outhouses and hear a story or two. Tom’s family would like to thank the Rimbey Long Term Care Facility, and the Eckville Home Care Workers, for all the hard work and care they provided. A Private Family Burial will be held at the Rimbey Cemetery, at a later date. If desired, Memorial Donations in Tom’s honor may be made directly to the Rimbey Long Term Care Facility, 5228 – 50 Avenue, Rimbey, Alberta, T0C 2J0. Condolences may be sent to the family at or to Arrangements in care of Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium, 6287 – 67 A Street (Taylor Drive), Red Deer. 403.340.4040.
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