Sharing memories of Tom Stewart

I have been approached by many Islanders who have expressed their shock and sorrow regarding the passing of Tom Stewart.

Hearing the outpouring of respect for the man and the overtures of gratitude for the enormous contributions he made to Vashon over the years, I have become aware of the collective desire to be able to pass on those recognitions in a meaningful way.

As of yet, I have no news of plans for any local memorials, but assume that word will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, in order that those of us who cared for Tom may have an avenue to address our memories about him and for all who wish to pay respects, I would like to invite you to write down a favorite conversation or memory you have of Tom or a thank-you and send them to the memorial Web site that has been put up by the Services Group of America.

I think the family will appreciate knowing that people here are truly grateful to have known Tom and are feeling a genuine sense of loss and grief.

So, to get things rolling, I’ll share one of my favorite memories of a conversation with Tom (there are so many). One afternoon a number of years ago, Tom and I were walking through the gardens, which at the time were under active construction, and as we discussed future progress of the project, the conversation turned to the fact that the amount of activity related to building the gardens would likely start to attract attention. He turned to me and said, “If anybody asks you, ‘Why is Tom Stewart building all these big gardens?,’ you tell them, ‘The old man loves trees and flowers.’”

— Hans Youngman, Misty Isle Farm general manager

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