Tindal: Thomas Howard Arlington
WWII Veteran, Tom Tindal is the “Longest Serving Member”, 77 years, in the history of The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 92, Gananoque, ON. Tom was presented a medal from the government of the Netherlands, to mark his participation in their liberation, in 1945.
In his 97th year, Tom passed away peacefully at Carveth Care Centre on Friday, June 9th, 2023, with family by his side. Thomas was predeceased by his beloved wife Ruth Margaret Carey Tindal for 67 years. Loving Father of Michael (Elaine) of Alliston, Deborah of Kingston and Susan of Gananoque. Dearest Grandfather of Allison (Darryl) of Uxbridge, Thomas (Kristin) of Kelowna, B.C. and Michael Arthur (Kate) of Alliston, and great grandchildren Theo, Zoey, and Archer. Survived by sister- in-law Janis (Adrian) Tindal of Morrisburg and brother-in-law, Ronald (Rita) Clyde of Kingston.
Predeceased by dear brother Arthur (died overseas in WWII and buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery near Nijmegen, Netherlands), Harry (Irene), George (Ruth), and dearest sisters Ruth Todd (Doug), and Frances Downey (Lloyd). Predeceased by wonderful sister-in-laws, Hilda (Ken) Gray, Helen (Ed) Wright, and brother-in-laws Gordon (Phyllis), George (Helen), Allen (Ruby), and Robert Carey.
Born January 12th, 1926, and raised in Morrisburg, Ontario, to parents Howard and Fanny (nee Gamble) Tindal, Thomas was the last remaining child out of 11 children. Despite suffering from polio at 10 years old, he did not think he’d ever lead a normal life, much less play hockey.
Tommy was an accomplished hockey player in the 1940’s. He was a member of the Morrisburg Junior B hockey team that won the Gill Cup in 1941 and 1942 and became Champions of the St. Lawrence League. As a very talented, Junior A hockey player in Hamilton he played against Ted Lindsay and other notables of the day, he also played Junior A hockey for the Stratford Kroehlers. He was invited to try out for the Montreal Canadiens. He attended their training camp, in 1943 as a 17 year old kid, before enlisting in the Canadian Army. He was on the Toronto Maple Leafs negotiation list in 1944 and was also asked to go to Detroit. Tommy declined his prospects for a pro career, because as soon as he was old enough, Tommy bravely signed up in May of 1944, to join his two older brothers, George and Arthur already in Europe.
When the War ended, after serving overseas in January 1946, Tom met his wife, Ruth Carey on a bus trip to a hockey game in Perth. Ruth was an avid hockey fan and worked at the Toronto Dominion Bank in Gananoque. Tom always joked and said with a grin, “I figured she had money, so I married her.” He fell in love, with the popular beauty and married her in October 1947. Starting his family, in 1949 Tom worked as a Recreational Director for the town of Gananoque (1949-1953) and coached youth sports.
He returned to hockey and played centre with the Hamilton Tigers, winning the OHA Senior A Championship in 1948. He completed his hockey career with the Gananoque Intermediate “A” Team, who won an Eastern Ontario title in 1952. This is where he earned the nickname, “The Talented Tommy Tindal.” In his later years, he tied on his skates to play in Gan’s Old Timers Hockey Tournament. With roots in Morrisburg Tom was inducted into the South Dundas Hall of Fame.
Tom worked at General Electric 1953-1963 and joined State Farm Insurance as a successful Independent Sales Agent from January 1964 until his retirement in May 1991. After retirement, Tom returned to Holland in 1992, and took his son, to locate and visit his brother Arthur’s grave, at the War Cemetery Memorial, in the Netherlands. Tom raised his family and worked in Gananoque, where he resided, for 77 years.
An accomplished athlete, he enjoyed hockey, golf, and curling. As most everyone he met, can attest to, he loved telling jokes. Tom enjoyed playing Crokinole, Scrabble, and Euchre, with his two daughters right up to a week before his passing and often won.
He was a member of the Legion, Grace United Church, the Gananoque Historical Society, Gananoque Curling and Golf Clubs.
Tom’s friendly, easygoing demeanor and most marvellous sense of humour, with a “twinkle in his very blue eyes”, will always be remembered, by friends, family, and acquaintances. He is everyone’s favourite Uncle! A humble man, with a very kind and generous spirit, he was truly, the most wonderful father and devoted family man. An incredibly proud Canadian, Dad is a forever loved hero by his family. They will deeply miss his presence.
Special thanks are expressed to the staff of Carveth Care Centre, Dr. Maitland and Heather. Also, we are grateful to PSW’s, Barb and Riki. Everyone took excellent care of Tom.
A private, family Graveside Service, (in keeping with Tom’s wishes), will be held at Gananoque Cemetery. Afterwards, Legion Br. 92 will pay tribute at a Family Reception in the Grace United Church Hall.