Thomas Eric Saumer


Expanded Obituary

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Thomas Eric Saumer who we lost due to suicide on September 23, 2013 at the age of 50 years. Tom was born in Edmonton and lived there until he was four years of age. In 1967, the family moved to their farm in the Heatherdown area where Tom’s dad Joe nurtured his love of farming and music.

After graduating from the University of Alberta in 1985, Tom began his career as a music teacher at the Onoway High School that fall and continued for 28 years. His band program and his students were his pride and joy. Tom took special delight in those students who continued their music education and went on to be music teachers and performers.

Tom is survived by his wife of 25 years, Carolyne; his mother, Joyce; his brothers Doug (Jeanette), Howard (Peggy), Robin (Lois); their children: Evan, Stuart (Morgan), Melanie (Daniel), Greg, Diana, Heather (Mark), Kaley (Jon), and Timothy; and their children: Aidan, Sophia, Quinn, Jackson, Brooklyn, Asher and Kaiya.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 28th at 1:00 p.m. at Onoway High School. Donations gratefully accepted to the Joe Saumer Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Onoway High School, Box 340, Onoway, AB T0E 1V0.

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I was fortunate enough to visit the Saumertime Ranch(spelling?)and meet Tom and Carolyne Saumer approximately 10 years ago, when my husband and I brought our young niece, whom we are raising, to visit their farm and celebrate the Christmas season. Tom was very patient with Brooklyn, showing her the animals and explaining the workings of the farm and responding to the many questions a young girl would have at that age. We were lucky to meet a few of his student’s who were working with the Alpaca’s and hear their wonderful stories. I also had the good luck of spending time in the Saumer home when Carolyne offered knitting classes, after I had purchased so many items at the sales in the barn. I decided it was time to learn a few techniques so I could create some treasures of my own, and they graciously opened their home to me to allow this to happen. At one point I was the only participant in the class and I found their home such a warm and loving environment and they both made me feel so welcome, even though I was taking part of their weekend time together. I was also very touched in meeting the animals and if finances had permitted, I would have moved and built an area just to house a few of the beloved Alpaca’s and have them close to me.

I plan to visit the The Old Stone House for the first time next weekend, and I look forward to making new memories at an area that brought me such joy, and allowed me to forget about my life-long, severe, chronic pain condition and visit and talk about their interests and love of music, the land, and the amazing animals. It was a perfect distraction!

Thank you Tom for sharing your stories and memories and knowledge. You will not be forgotten and I am certain I will feel your presence when I visit next week. God Bless you and Carolyne and your remaining family members, friends, peers and students who also were blessed to have known you and grown from the relationships they shared with you. In his name I pray…Amen.
Blessings…Jill Audley

Dawson K

Missing you mr.s. we never stop thinking about you. It feels like your with us every time we play the music.

Jordin from Onoway, OHS

Without our Mestro our band would B flat we will miss you Mr. Saumer


Great memories of Tom, Joe and the band performing, and making the trip to Onoway from Sangudo to be a part of Tom’s honours band (with lots of help) the year after SHS shut down its music program. Here’s to a wonderful teacher and generous musician who gave so very much. He’ll missed and remembered in countless ways. Sometimes a voice becomes harder to hear, but we have its music always.
Our thoughts are with the Saumer family at this difficult, difficult time.

Marie Jones Foran
St. John’s, NL


To my Uncle Tom,

Your happiness and joy will always be in my memory! Every family function was made better by your smile and laugh. One thing I will remember always, was the big Easter Egg hunt on the farm! It would take us kids hours to find them all! I think it was originally just to keep us kids out of every ones hair. It became one of my favorite times of the year. Thank you Uncle for being such an influential man with the biggest heart and sole. Our family will not be the same without you! I love you always, God keep you always my dearest Uncle Tom. xoxo


“Sweet Tranquility Basket” was purchased for the family of Mr. Thomas Eric Saumer.

dawson kremer

I enjoyed my first year of honors band with you and I am gonna continue to be in band until I graduate. It will never be the same without you. We love you. ~Dawson Kremer, onoway


I am shocked at this news. Mr.Saumer had a huge influence on my life as I was part of Honors Band and he always let the students hang out and explore our musical gifts. I just stopped into the school to see him and introduced him to my young boys after not seeing him for over 13 years before summer. I was surprised to see my grad picture still hanging on his bulletin board. He was so proud of all the students and of all the accomplishments of the music department. My prayers will be with the remaining family as they grieve their losses I hope the Lord comforts their hearts. He was a most loved teacher, friend and musician.
Bridget Reschke (Thompson), St.Albert

Ted Latimer

As a Past President of the Onoway Legion I worked closely with Tom as we presented the November 11th Remembrance Day Service at the High School each year. I enjoyed this brief time that I had with Tom. All of us are going to miss him and I would like to extend my sympathy to his family at this time.

Ted Latimer
Onoway, Ab.

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