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Tom Arnett
Thomas Lewis Arnett
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Born:May 10, 1935
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Died:October 18, 2008
Penetanguishene, Ontario
Tom was a creative writer, the author of novels, short stories, poetry, plays, dinner theatre, revues and radio dramas.

Tom was a communicator. He wrote newspaper and magazine articles,training manuals, promotional brochures, newsletter, educational films, local histories.

He had 13 books published. His novel, "Death Games", was the first action-adventure novel to make the N.Y. Times bestseller list. (For his novels published by Gold Eagle he used the series' pseudonyms Don Pendleton and Dick Stivers.) As well as reaching enormous Canadian and American audiences, many of his action-adventure novels were translated and widely sold in Japan and Spain.

His legacy includes three as yet unpublished novels which explore modern ethical issues, and a considerable body of poetry.

Some of Tom's many other accomplishments include:
* a photographic inventory of the historic buildings of rural Simcoe County ("Home and Homestead")
* wrote the popular radio series "Sounds Like Music"
* wrote a radio series for the CBC celebrating Canadian authors
* editor of the East End Express, a Toronto newspaper
* taught courses in creative writing at several colleges and high schools
* created and taught The Novel Tutor, a correspondence course
* founder of the Innisfil Historical Document Centre
* received an award for volunteerism from the Ontario government
* recognized by the Township of Innisfil for his work as a volunteer
* received both Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council grants
* an international chess champion with many awards and trophies
* past president of both the Innisfil Historical Society and the Huronia Chess Club

As well as his love of reading and writing, Tom's passions included chess, computer programming, photography, wine making, listening to jazz and classical music, dogs, wood working, natural and social history, bread making, logic puzzles and Bible study. He had a deep sense of spirituality and was an advocate for, and active practitioner of applied Christianity. He was an adherent of Silent Unity and very active in St. John's United Church, Victoria Harbour, serving as chair of the board and organizer of groups for Bible study and mission statement review.

He grew up in Winnipeg and lived, at various times, in Saskatoon, Nova Scotia, Montreal and, in Ontario, in Toronto, Cookstown and Victoria Harbour. He married Janet Brown in 1962.

Tom was a gentle, caring person, always generous, gracious, forgiving, kind and thoughtful. He was quick to befriend anyone in need of support and throughout his life his top priority was to facilitate access to opportunities for others.

Although never free from medical challenges, Tom refused to let illness define him, opting instead to revel in life, love and laughter. His personal mission statement was to make a positive difference in the lives of others both through his writing and through the way he lived.

Consistent with a lifetime of generosity and concern for others, he donated his body to medical research.

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Bibliography: Tom's book titles:

Five Rings of Fire (Gold Eagle; 1984)
Deathbites (Gold Eagle; 1984)
The World War III Game (Gold Eagle; 1986)
Blood Gambit (Gold Eagle; 1986)
The Iron God (Gold Eagle;1986)
Firecross (Gold Eagle; 1987)
Death Ride (Gold Eagle; 1987)
Death Games (Gold Eagle; 1985)
Hell's Gate (Gold Eagle; 1986)
With Love, Dale Pinnock (Shagnasti; 1988)
The Last Book of the Last Prophet (Poetry Toronto; 1976)
The Ice Industry at Bell Ewart (Innisfil Historical Society; 1982)
People Helping People (Innisfil Credit Union; 1994)

For information on Tom's radio, television, drama, poetry and article writing credits, please see the article "A variety of writing accomplishments" in the Memorabilia section of this memorial site.

Photos

Picture - 3.JPG

Added by Anonymous

eternalpeacewp -1.jpg

Added by LeeAnn Billard

with sam.jpg
with Sam
Added by Janet

aatCBC.jpg
at the CBC
Added by Janet

poetry.jpg
a poetry reading with Gwen MacEwen
Added by Janet

cookstown.jpg
writing (before computers); at Cookstown
Added by Janet
 

Memorabilia (audio, video, files, documents, etc.)

Tide and Time.doc

Added by Janet

LIfe is in the details.doc

Added by janet

Uncle Tom.doc
My Uncle Tom
Added by Sherri Nearing

Notes_to_writers.doc

Added by Janet

Chess.doc

Added by Janet

Historian.doc

Added by Janet


Bart.doc
More like a son...
Added by Bart Lausanne
 

Personal Notes


Tom was a wonderful person, always looking for ways to help others. He was quick to recognize and acknowledge others' strengths and talents, to encourage and support everyone he encountered, whether in a writers' group, in a classroom, in the church, the chess clubs or the community.
Added by janet


Tom was a wonderful person, a friend to all that knew him. I would like to say he would do what ever he could to help someone in need. Family or friend, it didn't matter to him. I will miss you a lot
Added by Sean Foley


I have known Tom Arnett for more than two decades. He was an inspiration to all aspiring writers, including myself. Because of Tom I became a successful poet, freelance journalist and Reader's Digest magazine writer. Tom's integrity and will power were immense. He religiously attended our monthly writers meetings in Elmvale. As the cancer took hold of him we watched his health deteriorate and yet he never complained. He always joked and made us laugh. Now when I think of him, I only remember that indomitable spirit of his which forever triumphed over all of life's adversities. There is no death, for the memory of Tom lives on in my memory and those of others.
Added by Indra Sharma


Tom started as my teacher, became a mentor and finally a dear and treasured friend. His encouragement, his uniique sense of humor, his ability to turn my worst day around with a joke and a few words of encouragement have been and will be missed for a long, long time. Thank you for taking me under your wing, Tom. It was a bright and wonderful place to be.
Added by Marilyn Lamb, Barrie


I knew Tom Arnett for over 20 years as a fellow writer and college teacher. I also regarded him as a friend. Tom was an accomplished professional, a good writer who achieved remarkable success and a fine teacher who guided many aspiring authors. Having a book on the New York Times bestseller list is a distinction very few can claim. Having many people grateful for your inspired leadership is also a rare achievement. Tom was truly an impressive person. I feel privileged to have known him.
Added by Heather Kirk


Instead of writing about Tom's goodness, I thought I'd share a memory that unexpectedly overwhelmed me. This time of year all the Xmas candies appear on the store shelves & I purchased a box without even thinking about it. When I unpacked the box from my groceries, I was suddenly transported back to a very frustrating winter day. Tom & I were in his top floor office struggling with a flat scene we were trying to revive, but the right words would not flow. We tried all the different writing exercises, to no avail. Then with a mischievous smile, Tom declared that maybe we should take our cue from Hemingway & hit the booze. He abruptly left the room, leaving me to wonder what on earth he was up to. After a few moments, Tom came back with a box of Chocolate Brandy Beans. We had a "drink" each & after a good chuckle, we managed to fix the writing passage. That for me, was the essence of Tom Arnett. A writer, a patient teacher, an intellectual & a humorist. I miss him but will never forget.
Added by Leah O'Shea


Tom was a very good man; I loved to chat with him and share moments of 'special' times. The world is a sadder place without him but his spirit will remain forever from within the pages of his many books, articles and notes.
Added by Carole Greenwood


Tom Arnett was the best neighbour I ever had. And that includes my living in five Canadian provinces and three different countries. I was stuck in the middle of completing a masters thesis and was faced with putting it on a computer 20 years ago. Often being stuck as to what should be the next move, I started talking about it with Tom over the back fence. Soon he came over. And that was the first of dozens of trips until the 100 pages were completed. In fact Janet got involved in typing some of the written work onto a new program.
It never ceases to amaze me how he would stop whatever he was doing and come over to work on the next glitch I had got myself into. Their efforts reminded me of frontier settlers helping the neighbour to get in the harvest or raise a new barn. Often I would offer to pay him, but Tom would have none of it. Such generosity is so rare. For that I am truly thankful.
Such a friend will make heaven a better place.

Added by Cecil Patey.
 
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