Thomas Sydnes

Obituary of Thomas Andrew Sydnes

May 24, 1938 - Peace River, Alberta

March 19, 2024 - Calgary, Alberta


Thomas (Tom) Andrew Sydnes, husband of Carol Sydnes, of Calgary, AB, passed away on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at the age of 85 years.


Tom grew up with his father Kolbien, his mother Dorothy, and his older brother Kenneth, on the family farm in Brownvale, AB.


After high school, Tom completed his Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Alberta. After graduating, Tom embarked on a 40-plus-year career with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. After starting near home in Berwyn, Tom worked for the bank in other Alberta communities, finally settling in Calgary.


Tom married Carol in 1973, becoming a family of five with Carol’s children from a previous marriage, Kathy, Don, and Glenn. Tom and Carol welcomed a daughter, Jennifer, in 1974.


The family moved to the community of Willow Park shortly after Jennifer was born, and Tom later became involved with the Willow Ridge Community Association. As president of the community association, Tom championed the development of Calgary’s first leisure centre—the Family Leisure Centre (now Trico Centre)—and worked tirelessly to make it a reality. The leisure centre is a continuing legacy of Tom’s commitment to his community and city.


In 1983, the bank transferred Tom to Vancouver, BC, and the family moved to the Lower Mainland. Tom and family were happy to host friends and family who came to visit, especially for Expo 86, before returning to Calgary in the fall of 1986.


Tom retired from CIBC in 1999 and began the snowbird life, spending winters in Palm Springs until 2014. Tom loved his time in Palm Springs, spending time with friends Bob, John, and Bill working on home improvement projects for their neighbours and enjoying “happy hours” and Hub Club events with friends.


Over the years, Tom, Carol, and the family went on many memorable vacations pulling their travel trailer to favourite locations, including Radium Hot Springs, Salmon Arm, and Disneyland. Many memories were made on these trips; some funnier after the fact (like when the kids hopped in the car to go camping without putting their shoes on first).


Tom was a dedicated and generous father and Papa who would provide thoughtful advice from his spot at the kitchen table to anyone who needed it. Tom was quiet and reserved but enjoyed family dinners that got bigger and louder as his family grew, but his few words carried weight and profound respect which will forever be appreciated.


Tom loved animals and had deep affection for the family pets over the years, sharing his lap for snoozing cats and building a ramp for Bear when he could no longer see and navigate the stairs off the back deck.


Family and friends greatly benefited from Tom’s substantial home improvement and repair skills and willingness to help, resulting in numerous home projects, from painting to basement development to hanging pictures and curtain rods (with precise accuracy). While not all of Tom’s skills can be matched by his family, his insistence on doing things the right way will be the most lasting inheritance.


Besides his loving wife Carol, Tom is survived by his children, Kathy (Doug), Don (Annie), Glenn, and Jennifer (Sean); much-loved grandchildren, Sarah, Laura, Ryne, Tatyana, Christopher, Nathan, Dashiell, and Daegan; and nieces, Alison and Valerie (Heath), and their children. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother Ken.


A special thank you to neighbours, Dawn and Gary James, who provided friendship and support as Tom’s health declined. Thank you also to Glenn’s partner Sue Louden, and Harley who regularly brightened Tom’s day with cheerful visits.


At Tom’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial service. A Celebration of Life will be held later this year. The family will notify loved ones when details are finalized.


If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made in Tom’s honour, directly to Canadian Feed the Children, 901 – 2 Lansing Square, Toronto, ON, M2J 4P8, or the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 20 Eglinton Avenue West, 16th Floor, Toronto, ON M4R 1K3, Telephone: 416-488-8772,, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Thomas’ family here.


In living memory of Thomas (Tom) Sydnes, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, Ab t2x 3j3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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