Thomas Edward Burge was born August 27, 1940 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, the 2nd son to Harold and Dorothy Burge. They lived 40 miles out of town at a Culp Creek lumber mill in a company owned “house”, with outdoor plumbing and a wood stove for heat and cooking. They moved to Cottage Grove when he was 10, and living conditions were much improved. It was a town of hard working, hard drinking loggers and colorful characters.
Tom attended Cottage Grove High School excelling in math, science and sports. Upon graduation, he was highly motivated to find a better life and future. He entered the U of O in Eugene, enjoying new freedom and opportunities, but studying ~ not so much. He left the university and went to work in the retail shoe business (owned by his future father-in-law) where he met and married Myra Jean Rady in 1960. Two years later they celebrated the birth of a daughter, Melinda, and in 1969 they welcomed their 2nd daughter, Tiffany.
Through his new family, Tom was exposed to the Christian faith and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Tom was never afraid to take a risk, moving his family to some unusual places, such as Kailua Kona, Hawaii and Priest Lake, ID. Tom came to faith in Jesus Christ at the Kona Baptist Church in 1971. Wherever they lived, 5 states in total, they found a church family. After retirement they moved to Mesquite, NV and became active in First Baptist Church of Mesquite.
From his humble beginnings of selling shoes, Tom built a career in the retail business, managing retail stores, eventually owning one on the U of O campus. Later he owned a consulting business, working for banks and private merchants. But his real love was the stock market. To the very end of his life, he watched the markets daily and loved to share his knowledge.
As a highly skilled hunter, Tom planned every detail of hunting season with his lifelong partners. He also loved to fish, especially with his dog, Molly. His favorite place on earth was “the cabin” on the South fork of the Boise River in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. Wonderful memories were created there with his wife, children and grandchildren.
In Feb. 2020, Tom was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer to the bones and lungs. It has certainly been a long 3+ years for him but they have also been some of the sweetest of his 63 year marriage. Tom is survived by his wife, Myra, his 2 daughters, Melinda (Mike) Matzdorff and Tiffany (Shawn) Myers, 6 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and his only sibling, Stewart Burge.
A special thank you to our family, friends, and church family, who helped us through this journey. We could not have made it without you, and we are so grateful. Hospice care was amazing for the last 6 months of his life and, nurse Amy, you’re the best! In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Mesquite, NV or Comfort Home Health and Hospice.