News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Thomas "Tom" Cornwall III

April 11, 1980 – March 22, 2024

Thomas "Tom" Cornwall III, beloved son, brother, friend, and husband, passed away on March 22, 2024, at the age of 43, after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on April 11, 1980, and attended K-12 in Sisters, graduating in 1998. His departure has left a profound void in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Tom was a remarkable individual whose selflessness knew no bounds. Throughout his life, he exemplified the essence of compassion, always placing the needs of others before his own. His unwavering strength of character and strong spirit were evident to all who crossed his path. This was seen when Tom and Audra Palombi settled down together over the past nine years. Tom played a significant role in being a role model for Audra's two teenage boys and helped guide them into adulthood. Not everyone earns the title of Step-Homie given to him from Audra's sons. He also played a vital role in giving his younger brother Paul and younger sister Sarah exposure to what the world can offer. His guidance and energy about life will be passed onto his four nieces as they embark on their life journeys. Many of Tom's endearing characteristics are from the good times, and the tough times, shared with his dad, Tom II, growing up in Sisters through the years.

One of Tom's greatest joys in life was immersing himself in the great outdoors. He found solace and exhilaration in the rugged wilderness, whether he was conquering snow-covered peaks on his snowboard or navigating the untamed terrain in his side-by-side. Tom's adventurous spirit knew no limits, as he fearlessly embarked on daring expeditions, including a nine-day Alaska river float trip and scaling mountains accessible only by helicopter to carve his way down on fresh powder and staking claim to every trail in Moab.

In addition to his passion for adventure, Tom was deeply committed to preserving the natural world. He created his own opportunities with degrees ranging from forestry, natural resources, electrical fundamentals, expanding into wind-turbine technology. As a wildland firefighter, he dedicated himself to protecting the precious resources of the areas he served, bravely battling wildfires to safeguard the environment for future generations. His dedication and tireless work ethic earned him the respect and admiration of all who had the privilege of working alongside him.

Known for his meticulous attention to detail, he approached every task with unwavering determination and a commitment to excellence. This was seen in his build of his side-by-side, to the programming of his HAM radios, or how he approached his job day to day. Nothing was done half-way.

Tom was an insatiable learner in life. He loved to learn and absorb new information, stay up to date on the happenings of the world, and was always good for an incredible conversation on any topic. His determination and tenacity were such a part of him that never failed. He also never lost his amazing laugh, wit, sense of humor, and infinite love he had to give. Tom was Tom until the last breath.

Despite his many achievements and adventures, Tom's greatest legacy lies in the profound impact he had on the lives of those around him. He cherished his lifelong friendships, holding dear the memories and experiences shared with those who knew him best. His enduring humor, boundless generosity, and unwavering support touched the lives of all who had the privilege of even being around him.

As we mourn the loss of Tom, we take comfort in the knowledge that his legacy will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him. His remarkable strength of will, abundant humor, and boundless compassion will continue to inspire us to live our lives with purpose and kindness. Though he may be gone, his spirit will forever remain a guiding light, reminding us to cherish each moment and to always share our gifts with others. We look forward to a bountiful celebration of life and plans are yet to be determined.

In honoring Tom's memory, let us strive to embody the qualities that defined his remarkable life – resilience, generosity, and unwavering love for others. May we find solace in the cherished memories we hold dear and take comfort in knowing that his legacy will endure for generations to come. Tom will be deeply missed but never forgotten, his spirit forever etched in the fabric of our lives.


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