Moses Tom, 68, of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont., passed away Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1998 at the Emo Hospital in Emo, Ont. He was born Feb. 11, 1930 in Big Grassy First Nation.
Moses lived all of his life in Big Grassy. During his youth, he was one of the most prominently known guides by the many local tourist camps. For enjoyment, he loved playing hockey, taking part in traditional dances, and playing the guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and trumpet.
On Feb. 3, 1963, Moses was united in marriage to the former Bessie Big George.
Throughout the years, he had served as chief of Big Grassy First Nation, and was founder and long-time board member of Weechi-it-te-win Family Services Inc. in Fort Frances, Ont. He also was a board member for the Cultural Centre in Kenora, and was very instrumental on the negotiating team of the Assabaska Land Claims, and worked on numerous committees.
Moses was a foster parent, and also was instrumental in bringing Cameron (Curly) Antoine from Kansas City, Kan. back home to Canada. Until recently, he enjoyed playing hockey, and playing the guitar, fiddle, and mandolin.
He was predeceased by his parents; two brothers, Thomas and Harry; and one sister.
Moses is survived by his wife, Bessie Tom of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont.; 12 children, George Simard and wife, Priscilla, of Couchiching First Nation, Ont., Pauline Big George and husband, Richard Paul, of Winnipeg, Man., Roy Tom and wife, Jane, and Colin Tom of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont., Patrick Tom and wife, Cindy, of Isle, Mn., Alison Tom of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont., Verna and husband, Mark Aquash, of Walpole Island, Ont., Jonathan and Ronald Tom, both of Toronto, Ont., Naomi and husband, Louis Braxton, of Chicago, Ill., Nicole Floyd of Victoria, B.C., and Abigail and husband, Brian Halverson, of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont.; 28 grandchildren, Estelle, Dylan, Sheila, Sachena, Clayton, Salena, Seyla, Shantaya, Charmaine, Natasha, Tanis, MorningStar, Jesse, Danika, Travis; Colin Jr., Turquoise, Tomisina, Wynter, Patricia, Sara, Joseph, Malik, Alene, Waus, Nicole, Ayzhia, and Opichee; seven great-grandchildren, Falon, Jeremy, Juliann, Arizona, Robyn, Shania, and Mitchell; one sister, Bessie Morrison of Rainy River, Ont.; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and relatives.
A traditional burial ritual was held Saturday, Oct. 3, 1998 at 11 a.m. at the Big Grassy First Nation Community Centre in Big Grassy First Nation. Elder Jim Boshkaykin officiated, with traditional burial in Big Grassy First Nation Cemetery.
A wake was held Friday, Oct. 2, 1998 from 3 p.m. at the Big Grassy First Nation Community Centre.
Pallbearers were Henry Boucha, Jim Comegan, Martin Tuesday, Reggie Morrison, Harry Kelly, and Richard Paul.
In memoriam donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 655, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M9.
Moses had a positive attitude, loved challenges, and was a good-hearted man who gave his time willingly. Moses loved his family and loved to share stories with them.
Wherever he travelled, he made many friends easily and as a result, he had friends galore in both the U.S.A. and Canada.