July 7, 1937 – October 31, 2019 – (age 82)
Leo Thomas Low (Tom) passed away peacefully on October 31, 2019, a mere 17 days after being diagnosed with lymphoma. His wife Sonja, brother Greg, and parents Leo and Selena preceded him in death.
Tom was born July 7, 1937; the oldest child of Leo Grady Low and Selena Gregory. He spoke often of his idyllic childhood in Smithfield where he was surrounded by family and great neighbors. He had a love of horses and a disdain for milking cows. Tom enjoyed wrestling and tap dance. After graduation from North Cache High School and one year at the Utah State University, Tom served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Southwest Indian Mission where he spoke Navajo and developed a lifelong love of the culture.
Tom married Sonja Jean Pitcher in the Logan Temple on June 22, 1960, and continued his education at Utah State University. Linda Kaye was born shortly before the family moved to El Cajon, California where Tom taught elementary school. Christine, their second daughter, was born during this time.
In 1964, Tom and Sonja moved back to Utah so Tom could attend graduate school at Utah State University. Tom worked in the physical education department and was asked to start their first ever gymnastics program. His $1,600 a year salary supported Sonja, toddler Linda and baby Christine. He earned his professional ski instructor’s certification in 1965 and his master’s degree in 1968. From 1965 to 1970, Tom coached gymnastics at Weber State College while also directing all ski classes for the same college. The Tom Low family learned to love tumbling, skiing, camping and the great outdoors.
Tom and Sonja worked together for the next 4 years as the first ski school directors of the new Powder Mountain Ski Resort. Summer activities included clearing ski runs and building new resort buildings for the ski school. He also proved capable and fair in his judging of rodeo queen competitions for Ogden’s Pioneer Days. His family deepened their love of skiing, spent most weekends living on the mountain.
Tom’s career path took a turn when he was offered an opportunity to work with a college friend in the mining consulting business. Tom traveled extensively, learned to fly airplanes, geology, and operate heavy equipment. He took his children and wife as often as possible. This experience provided his family with many opportunities to travel. In 1982, as the work slowed, it was necessary for Tom to move on.
Tom spent a few years teaching at the Ogden Alternative High School before starting with Herff Jones as a yearbook salesman. Tom traveled extensively throughout the Rocky Mountain region. With children gone, he had time to learn the guitar. Tom became talented in both the acoustic and classical guitar and enjoyed performing with Sound Choice and at other events. In 2007 Tom and Sonja moved to Smithfield to be closer to family.
Tom is survived by his children Linda Kaye Perkes (Mark), Christine Apedaile (John), Steven Thomas (LaRea); siblings, Suzanne Rigby (Greg), Linda Low sister-in-law, Stella Preston (Stan), and Jenette Clark (Jim). His seven grandchildren include: Jeffery Harris, David Harris, Heather Harris, Thomas Apedaile, Tod Apedaile, Cody Apedaile, and Brian Low; and two great-grandchildren, Rachel Kaye Harris and Liam Harris.
The family would like to express gratitude for the many friends, family, and ward members whose visits made Tom’s days so memorable. Additionally, we express thanks to the caregivers and staff at Sunshine Terrace Hospice and to Cache Valley Mortuary.
Instead of flowers, please consider donating to a children’s charity of your choice.
The viewing will be held Thursday, November 7, 2019 from 10:00 – 11:30am at the LDS Stake Center located at 600 East 120 South, Smithfield, Utah. The funeral is at 12:00pm with a luncheon to follow.
Memories or condolences may be shared with the family at cvmortuary.com