July 12, 1949 – July 10, 2017
Dr. Thomas M. Bajo died in a whitewater kayaking accident on July 10, 2017 near Red Lodge, Montana, one day before his 68th birthday. Tom was doing what he loved and at a place he loved. The sheriff reported that he had done everything right and could not have prevented his death. Those of us who knew him well, know that Tom was experienced and this was unavoidable. He was in a happy place in his life and was looking forward to returning to Scottsdale in August.
The only things he loved more were his family and friends. His daughters, Hannah Calvis and Alyssa Bajo were his purpose in life and in September 2015 his granddaughter Ellie renewed his reason for living. He loved his daughters, son-in-law Tony and granddaughter more than they could ever know. They were a wonderful family and his memory will linger well into the girls’ futures. His love for them is embedded in their lives and he will always be a part of them.
He was a renowned, respected physician and teacher. He was humble yet he saved many lives in his capacity as a critical care physician. He loved his work and the people he worked with at the medical facilities. He impacted many people’s lives in significant and meaningful ways and those memories will keep him alive in their hearts.
Tom was part of a very close family, even though they were geographically separated.
He was a devoted family member to his brothers Joe, Jim, Pat, Bill and Carl and sisters Kathleen, Tessa and Roxanne as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins—entertaining them with his self-deprecating humor and piercing sarcasm balanced by an abundance of humility and an eagerness to help whenever he could. He is also survived by Caryn Bajo, his former wife of 18 years and mother of his children.
He also had so many wonderful friends that were his Scottsdale “family” along with his kayaking “family” throughout the world.
He is home now with mom and dad. He will be genuinely missed by so many and never forgotten. He made a strong and generous impact on this world, even though his humility would prevent him from ever recognizing it. He was a hero to us.
A Mass of Christian Burial in his honor will be celebrated at 11AM on Wednesday, July 19, at St. Patrick Catholic Community Church at 10815 N. 84th Street in Scottsdale, AZ. Celebration of Life to follow from 4PM – 9PM. FaceBook: Tom Bajo Celebration of Life Tom Bajo Celebration
Please do not send flowers but donations can be made in Tom’s name to First Descents (firstdescents.org.) which is a charitable, nonprofit organization that provides outdoor adventure experience trips or to Team Tarkio Whitewater Adventures c/o Land and Erica Heflin, P.O. Box 3025, Missoula, MT 59806, or have Masses said in his memory.