Thomas G. Way

Thomas G. Way, 92, of Overland Park, KS passed away Tuesday, February 18, 2020. 

Tom was born on September 18, 1927 in Kansas City, MO to Gordon and Violet Way. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Hedy Way and a brother Benjamin. He is survived by his other brother, Walter; his children: Teresa Clayton, Gordon Way, Julie Baird, Laura Wathen and Mary Nelson; 8 grandchildren: Teal, Tyne, Brendan, Isabella, Thomas, Blake, Ava, and Kaylee; and 3 great grandchildren, Titan, May, and Kasper.

Tom lived in the greater Kansas City area most of his life. As a boy, he lived in Kansas City, MO and Overland Park, KS. He graduated from Shawnee Mission High School (now Shawnee Mission North) in 1945. He enlisted in the Navy just as World War II ended. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1947, he joined the Infantry of the Kansas National Guard. While serving in the Guard, he received a Commendation from the state of Kansas for meritorious service during the disastrous floods of 1951. He was honorably discharged as a corporal in 1953. During this time, he also attended Kansas State University, studying art and agriculture. He worked on Juniata Farms to help pay for college.

In the early 1950’s Tom worked for the Hercules Powder Company at the Sunflower Ammunitions Plant.

A lover of the outdoors, and a talented draftsman and artist, he eventually found his vocation as a landscape designer. He worked for a number of local nurseries for the remainder of his working life.

In the early 1960s, Tom met the love of his life. Tom and Hedy were married on July 14, 1962. They built their own home on a 10-acre property in Shawnee, Kansas.  It was here that they raised their five children.

Tom will be remembered for his work ethic, his artistic skill, his sense of humor, and his love for his wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. His family has many cherished memories of Tom. A small sampling of these follow.

Tom loved trees, and planted a number of them on his property. Each year, he would take his children out to his “woods” (as the kids called them) and they would select a Christmas tree. These Austrian Pines were larger than the typical Christmas tree, and filled the room with pine branches and scent. These trees became an important part of many special Christmas memories for the Way kids.

During one particularly heavy snowfall in the late 1960s, Tom built an igloo out of snow for his children to play in. The igloo was large enough for Tom, who stood 6’2”, to stand up in.

One Thanksgiving dinner was made especially memorable when Tom took his brother Ben’s request to “pass the rolls” literally. Ben retaliated by “serving” Tom some mashed potatoes. The ensuing food fight between the two middle-aged men provided something of a life lesson for the children who witnessed it: stay playful and enjoy life.

Tom livened up household chores, such as washing the dishes, with the occasional indoor water fight.

He rarely missed a sporting event or an arts performance of any of his children. He often traveled to other states to show his pride and support.

Tom took care of his widowed mother, helping to build her a house next door to his. He assisted her with chores, maintained her house and yard, planted her a little flower garden, and regularly had her over to the house for dinner. Because he kept her close, his children grew very close to their one remaining grandparent.

Tom loved his wife, Hedy, and selflessly cared for her through her declining health. He was able to keep her comfortably at home for most of her final years, despite her need for intense care.

At the age of 90, Tom moved in with his daughter Mary and her husband Ross, who ensured that he was well cared for and stayed in a loving household through his remaining years. Tom’s other children give their heartfelt thanks to Mary and Ross for ensuring that Dad was happy, comfortable, and surrounded by loved ones.

Tom remained close to all of his children, including those who lived hundreds of miles away. Daughters from Washington, Montana, and Wisconsin called frequently, and visited as often as they possibly could. As Tom showed signs of declining health, all three daughters immediately booked flights to Kansas City for some quality time with their dad.

Tom passed quietly while watching a movie with his eldest daughter, doing something he enjoyed with someone he loved.

Tom will be sorely missed. 

 

Services

A visitation will be from 9 am – 10 am, Friday, February 28, 2020 at the Amos Family Funeral Home with a service to start at 10:00 am. Burial to follow at Johnson County Memorial Gardens. Family and friends are invited to a luncheon following the burial.

Contributions

Memorial contribution may be made to Interim Hospice 10977 Granada Lane, Suite 105, Overland Park, Kansas 66211.

 


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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Friday, Feb. 21st 2020 | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “Thomas G. Way”

  1. Dave & Tami Metzger Says:

    What a beautiful legacy Tom left for the world! Our hearts go out to Mary and the rest of the family. -The Metzgers

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