In light of Relay for Life, this is an excellent time to share the story of a wonderful man whom I was blessed to know.
Thomas D. Turlo, nicknamed “Mr. T” was a wonderful husband, father, and member of the community. Tom Turlo passed away from cancer on July 29, 2019. He was fifty six years old.
Cancer is devastating but Tom’s story has shown that cancer cannot take hope and love away. Tom is defined by the differences that he made in the lives of others and not as a victim of cancer.
Tom was the Troop Leader and Scout Master for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts for Troop 41 in Hampden, Maine. He was very passionate about sharing the values of the Scouts and loved living in Maine. In fact, some of his friends called him “Mr. Maine.” A trail at Camp Dirigo in Solon, Maine was named “Turlo Trail ” in his honor. This is a perfect memorial of his love and appreciation for nature.
Tom worked for Roof Systems of Maine and was well-loved by his coworkers. I remember that there was a very nice tribute for him at the benefit spaghetti dinner that was held in his honor. Roof Systems of Maine arrived with a motorcade of trucks, including Tom’s work truck. This included a crane that had a lowered flag attached to it in his honor, as well as his hard hat and safety equipment.
Tom was also a talented artist. He loved to paint, take photos, and carve. He was also passionate about cooking. Tom is a great example of a renaissance man. I am grateful to his family for sharing his beautiful art on social media and sharing inspiring moments of his life.
It was clear to see how devoted he was to his wife, Kate Biscoe Turlo. They both attended the University of Maine, and married on September 10, 1994. Together they raised two amazing children.
His beautiful daughter Emma is a senior in college. She attends Umaine and is on the dance team.
Tom’s son Jonathan is a senior in high school. With the guidance of his father, Jonathan became an Eagle Scout in 2017. Jonahtan is a skilled biker and participated in the Dempsey challenge to honor his father. He also played hockey at Hampden Academy his senior year.
Tom never missed a performance or game despite the obstacles that his health presented. He was always there for his family. He never let anything hold him back from being the best father possible.
Tom made an incredible impact on his community and this will always be remembered. After his passing, a retired flag collection box he built for one of his Wood badge tickets was freshly painted and revived. The flag collection box sits outside a local hardware store, and provides the community with a respectful way of retiring American flags. Tom had immense respect for his country and wanted to honor the flag in the best way possible.
There is no easy way to cope with the loss of a loved one. I cannot even imagine the pain that Tom’s loved ones experienced. However, throughout their grieving process, they were not bitter and hardened. Instead they focused on keeping Tom’s spirit alive.
Tom’s story also includes the community providing lots of support for a family during a very turbulent time. I am grateful to live in such an empathetic community.
Rest in peace Tom Turlo. You will never be forgotten.