Thomas SuwynThomas Gerald Suwyn, 77, died on June 3, 2021, at home in Oak City, Utah, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. Tom was born on March 2, 1944, in Denver, Colorado, to Wilbert John and Betty Lou English Suwyn. He was raised in Southern California, the eldest of six children. Tom married Rosalyn Frances Loving on November 11, 1966. Above all, Tom was a kind and gentle man and his devotion to God was evident in the life he lived. While raising a family of five boys, Tom and Rosalyn joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a faithful member and served in various callings throughout his life. Tom taught his sons to have faith, work hard, and have fun. Together, they enjoyed football, wrestling, hunting, fishing and dutch-oven cooking. Their lives were touched by tragedy when his son Chet Jeremy died in an accident in 1991, and again when Rosalyn passed away in 1997. Tom met Sara Rae Finlinson when they were set up on a blind date. They felt an instant connection and married on September 27, 1997. After several years of marriage, they settled in her home town of Oak City. Tom loved life in Oak City, where he raised chickens, pigs, and cows, kept horses, grew a productive vegetable garden, and was a beloved member of the community. Tom lived a life of serving others. In his younger years, he served in the Marine Corp, worked as a technician in California state mental institutions, and mentored at-risk youth in Idaho. He ultimately found his calling in Wildland Fire Management, where he enjoyed a 30+ year career. During his time with the BLM, he mentored many young firefighters and was respected and loved by all who worked with him. At the pinnacle of his career, Tom was the Incident Commander of his own team of firefighters, Suwyn’s Type II Fire Team. For more than a decade, they fought many large wildfires throughout the Western United States. Tom saw his work as more than just fighting fires, it was an opportunity to support others in the development and advancement of their own careers. Tom’s family thanks nurses Sherri and Rebecca for the kind and gentle care they provided him in the final months of his life. Tom is survived by his wife, Sara Rae Suwyn; children, Troy (Sarah) Suwyn, Huntington, UT; Nicholas (Julie) Suwyn, Peoria, AZ; Joshua (Tobi) Suwyn, St. George, UT; Micah (April) Suwyn, Hurricane, UT; Calee (Brian) Jackson, Oak City, UT; Jim (Emily) Burraston, Spanish Fork, UT; Cassie (Matt) Porter, Spanish Fork, UT; Jace Burraston, Spanish Fork, UT; sisters, Cheryl and Patti; brothers, Bob and Gary; 28 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rosalyn Suwyn; son, Chet Suwyn; grandchildren, Abram Scott Perrill and Skyah Natelle Suwyn; great-granddaughter, Adeline Suwyn; brother, Kendall Suwyn; and brother-in-law, Bill Boeck. Funeral services will be held at the Oak City meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. A viewing will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., prior to services. Interment will be at the Oak City cemetery. Online condolences can be offered at www.olpinstevensfuneralhome.com Recording of Service Service Program Click to download / open
I first met Tom in the Alpine Environmental Camp, Alpine WY. From the very first meeting Tom and enjoyed a special friendship. Over many years we crossed paths. Tom was always congenial. I never knew him to be anything but a perfect gentleman. Even when situations were critical, in fire or his personal life, Tom maintained a positive attitude.
I wish you, Sara Rae, Mica, and Troy the spirit of our Father in Heaven to comfort and sustain you and all of your family.
I am sorry that I will be unable to attend the services; my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Sheldon G Wimmer Jun 8 2021 12:00 AM
I met Tom early in my career and worked with him throughout the 30 plus years I spent in fire management. I am honored to be one of the many people who were able to be part of his incident management team. I, like so many others, were influenced, encouraged and inspired by Tom. He had a big impact on the path I followed professionally. But more importantly, Tom was a friend. And thats how I will remember him.
I was able to spend a lot of time with him when we worked together on teams. I got to know him more than just a firefighter or an IC. Of course we talked about fire, but many other things as well. We talked about fishing, and when he was in the Marines, and surfing and riding horses when he was a young man in southern California and his garden at his home in Oak City. He would talk about his family. They were a huge part of his life, he was proud of them and he loved them very much. He was an incredible person and great guy.
Being on Toms team was like being part of a family. Thats how he made you feel. Thats what made him a great IC. I remember joining his team after a period of forced absence from team participation. A new supervisor had granted me permission to be on a team after a several year hiatus. Tom was the first person I called. Before I could even finish explaining my situation and ask if he had an opening on his team, Tom said yes. After a few seasons Tom asked me to train to be an IC. I cannot explain how honored I was, that a person I admired as much as Tom asked me to be his trainee. It was something I had never even considered and would have never done if anyone other than Tom had asked.
I will miss Tom. The passing of every great man is just another part of his life but for those that knew and loved him it leaves a great void in our lives. Hopefully, we can find some comfort in the tremendous legacy Tom leaves behind. I consider it a great privilege to have known Tom and to have been a small part of his life. It is something I will treasure. My heart goes out to Toms family. I can only imagine how much you miss him. Tom was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and he loved you all.
Tracy Dunford Jun 8 2021 12:00 AM
Very sorry for your loss. We really enjoyed our friendship with your dad. We have fond memories of him when you were all younger and lived here in Hurricane. He was a good man and will be missed by many. Our sincere wishes for peace and comfort for your family. Sending love.....the Landis Family
Ken and Marsha, Keith, Tobey, Decker, Dace and Trissy Landis Jun 5 2021 12:00 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family on your loss. I have the great honor of being Michael Suwyn's mother-in-law and have enjoyed his parents, brothers, and sister. What a beautiful and thoughtful obituary. I am so happy you were able to see him before he passed.
Mary Blome Jun 5 2021 12:00 AM
Tom was among the best of men and among those employees I valued most during our times on the Dixie National Forest.
Hugh C Thompson, USFS Ret.. Jun 5 2021 12:00 AM