I have not read any of the posts here, but recall how deeply moving and affecting the AJ Donohue thread was on this or a similar site. I could say a lot, but expect much of it is already written. Tom was the best. He was a huge impact on my life ever since we met. I worked with him for about 8-years at K&P and nearly that long at the United Way Board. He was the best boss for three of those years and an amazingly fun and effective partner in my efforts all of those years. We did some great things in developing a facility security program from scratch that impressed many customers including Gortons. We kept the safety program thriving and with many managers and employees, we celebrated so many long runs without serious injury. so much pain was prevented and replaced with productivity and rewards. We served literally over 1000 pizzas, handed out approx $50k in safety drawing cash, served huge buffets, even steaks one time for the entire company. Tom was a great sounding board and would bitch along with you, but if it was our team, we always agreed to make it work. As Rev Alan said, "instead of pressing people to correct their faults, he was a master of promoting the impact of their strengths." Tom was usually nice and always a passionate guy, but never hesitated to speak his mind or stand up for what he believed. I expect he never made his peace with the misdirection of King & Prince Seafood during and after it was sold and spiraling downward for years. Tom was not perfect, but in all the time I spent with him, I rarely saw him have a negative or neutral impact on a task or situation. I know of many who have shared the same experience.
When I asked him to consider chairing the United Way Board, he was initially angry and disappointed that no one else had stepped up. He had lived in Glynn only 2-3 years, but took it on with pride and energy soon after. His years on the exec cmte were a major phase of evolution in the team-building, fund-raising efforts and exploration/initiation of the community impact model. It was a great time for me. I felt like I made a bigger difference than ever when I worked with Tom at UW and K&P. He built so many relationships directly and made so many others stronger.
There has been a massive stream of memories resurrected since his loss. A favorite was him delivering Christmas gifts with Bob Brubaker to the neighbors surrounding the King & Prince facility. Another involves countless staff meeting where he refused to let managers BS there way through. If there were problems or lack of progress, we had to own it. another was the time I was in the room as he told a coworker that he would always have a beard and we were all better for it, as he was too scary without it !?!? Ahahaha!
I will continue to pray for this family, this town and this phase to heal soon. It matters much more to me that he is gone too early and his absence forms a painful void for so many that loved him, relied on him, or just had a little better day or better life because of knowing him. I found myself on all three of those paths with Tom, and not surprised to see that so many did, as well. I will always hear his laugh and appreciate his ear and heart that seemed to always be open for me when I needed it most.
Thomas I. Sublett had a huge impact on my life that will live on in a tiny club that includes my father, also gone from us way too soon. I pray for Carol and family's peace of mind and Tom's peace in heaven. Just like my dad, I wish I had listened to him more, spent more recent time and seen that smile a few more times. Soon enough, I guess!
See you all soon with a little more Peace, Love & Laughter in store...