In Memory

Thom Leslie

June 26, 1950 – August 5, 2020 

Thomas “Thom” Richard Leslie, 70, of Salem, Oregon, passed peacefully Wednesday, August 5, 2020, after a 4 year battle with COPD and Congestive Heart Failure at the Salem Hospital in Salem.

Thom was born June 26, 1950 and was adopted at birth by Goldie and Frank Leslie of St. Joseph, Missouri.  At the age of 10, after the death of his mother, Thom went to live with his sister, Beverly and was raised with her 5 children in Oregon.  Beverly and Thom were 20 years apart in age.

Thom graduated from Hood River High School in 1968, in Hood River, Oregon.  He attended Portland State University, in Portland, Oregon, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in 1972 and a Master of Science in 1974, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity.

Thom began his teaching career in the Portland, Oregon area for a few years.  He then settled in the North Bend/Coos Bay area to complete 27 years of teaching at Sunnyhill and Hillcrest Elementary schools. Thom retired from teaching on June 2, 2002. Thom was well respected as an elementary teacher, winning the coveted Crystal Apple Award during his teaching career. Thom was very active, acting and singing in the productions put on by The Little Theater on the Bay.

Thom retired in Tucson, Arizona where he was an active member of the Reveille Men’s Chorus.  He returned to the Northwest in 2012, finally settling in Salem, Oregon to be closer to family. In July of 2020 Thom went to live with his niece Carol Pfaff and her husband Tom, of Independence, Oregon, where he was lovingly cared for until his death. Thom was able to make his own life choices and passed peacefully and with dignity with Carol by his side.

Thom was preceded in death by his sister, Beverly; niece, Sharon Duggan; great-nephew, Glenn Twidwell; his parents; his 2 older brothers and cat, Cisco.

Thom leaves behind 2 nieces; 2 nephews; 15 great-nieces and nephews; 23 great great-nieces and nephews; his Godson, Thomas Patrick; his dear friends, James Curran and Trent Killough; his many friends and cats Libra and Bella.

We remember Thom as a kind and gentle man, with a passion for teaching, singing, acting and the love of his cats. Thom was able to be an organ donor.

A special thank you to the Salem Hospital’s ICU unit and nurses Jessica and Hannah.

Thank you to all of Thom’s friends who were able to reach out and let him know you were thinking of him and sending love, before he passed.