Obituary of Tom Cameron
One man’s amazing life journey
Tom Cameron, of Cambridge Mn was resting comfortably on January 31, 2019. He gave his last smile, closed his eyes and then took his last breath. Tom died peacefully in the presence of family; just as he would want it.
He was 91 years old, but his long adventurous life and the stories he told about the people he met will live on.
Tom was born in Princeton in 1927. The eldest of four children, he endured the hardships of the depression years as a young boy. He understood the value of a dollar and worked hard to provide for his family.
Tom did many things in his long life, but one thing he did better than almost anyone was to tell a good life story. And while Tom may not be here to tell his stories in person, we know his stories will live long in our memories.
He once said, “Life is to be enjoyed and I want to live as long as I can.” He advised his children to “always do what will make them happy and successful.” He lived a full life and had his share of happiness and fulfillment.
At 17, Tom joined the Navy serving our country where he spent months in California until his ship, the USS Prairie, was deployed to the Asia-Pacific region and China.
After the Navy he met and married his sweetheart, Mona, in 1952. Together they moved to Cambridge and raised four children. Tom joined the Minnesota State Highway Patrol where he worked until his retirement. To this day the family meets many people who said they had been stopped by Tom, and whether he gave them a ticket or not, they always had a kind word to say about him. One of his proudest moments on the State Patrol was when his pistol team won the State championship.
He was a hard worker. He began by driving Ready Mix truck, learned to fly and gave hundreds of airline captains their first flight instruction. Tom and his wife, Mona, owned and operated a flight instruction business and also flew for the forestry department spotting forest fires.
Tom learned to fly in 1957 and had some extraordinary flying trips and adventures. Over his career he owned more than 40 airplanes - and each one held a story. Perhaps his biggest flying adventure was a seaplane trip from Minnesota to Alaska with his cousin Ted Martin. Our family had many wonderful vacations ranging from Alaska to the Baja Pennisula and all across the USA in his private plane. Upon retirement, Tom and Mona took vacations and cruises through New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the Panama Canal.
In later years, you could find Tom at the People’s Cafe in downtown Cambridge, sipping coffee and detailing world problems with his many friends. The group has a reserved table in the center of the room and would shake dice each morning to see who would pay for breakfasts and who could tip the waitresses the most. After lunch he might stop to check on his friends at the Bakery rehashing any problems that they could not solve before lunch.
Tom loved his friends - and they, in turn, loved him. He never met a stranger and made friends easily. You may be with him one minute then turn around and he was gone; almost always in conversation with a new acquaintance somewhere nearby.
Tom loved roaming the family farm, walking in the woods and viewing the wildlife. After retirement, he loved to drive his four wheeler on the farm, and mow the 8 acre lawn at home and drive to Princeton or St. Cloud to have dinner with family and friends.
He had more friends as a member of the Cambridge Masons, American Legion, and Isanti VFW.
He is survived by his wife of many years Mona Cameron, children Lynell (David) Berelsman, Mary Ellen (Howard) Holz, Cathy (Kurt) Ramsdell, Thomas (Jennifer) Cameron, his sisters June (John) Geselius and Janice (Clif) Alferness, Grandchildren James (Megan) Holz, Beth (Brett) Gerstenberger, Thomas Cameron, Mark Cameron, Laura Cameron, and two great grandchildren, Lee and Hazel Holz.
We would love to hear YOUR condolences and stories about Tom. Add them on Toms online page www.carlson-lillemoen.com. - or just jot them down and bring them to his Celebration of Life.
We invite you to join us for a Celebration of Tom's Life fron 4-7 PM at Grace Pointe Crossingl, 1545 River Hills Parkway, Cambridge, MN on Saturday, February 16, 2019.
Any donations you care to make will be forwarded to Cambridge Dollars for Scholars for a scholarship towards aviation or law enforcement. https://ci.dollarsforscholars.org/index.php?section=chapterWebsite&action=donate&fwID=979