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In Memory

James Thomas "Tom" March

James Thomas "Tom" March
September 22, 1943 - August 25, 2020

Lifelong Alaskan James Thomas "Tom" March, 76, of Anchorage, Alaska, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. Son of Helen (McCrary) and Jim March, Tom was born on Sept. 22, 1943, in Seward, Alaska. A graduate of West High Class of 1961, Tom attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, graduating with a B.S. degree in mining engineering in 1966. He worked for Pan American Petroleum for a short time before enlisting in the Army, attending Officer Candidate School and being commissioned 2nd Lieutenant. He soon shipped off to Vietnam, where served in a combat engineer battalion from 1968-1969.

On June 5, 1970, Tom married his high school sweetheart, Judy Wallace, in a ceremony held in Anchorage. Soon thereafter, Tom and Judy headed to Minnesota, where Tom enrolled at the University of Minnesota, receiving a master's degree in mineral economics. He then worked for Fluor Corporation at various locations in the Lower 48, during which time their first son, James, was born.

In the mid-1970s, Tom managed to get transferred back to his home state, living and working in Valdez on the construction of the TAPS terminal. The young family soon moved back to Anchorage, where their second son, Ryan, was born.

Tom's interests in resource extraction and engineering were the backbone for a strong and varied career. He worked for Anchorage-based contractors and later for Anchorage Sand & Gravel for several years. He returned to Fluor during the Prince William Sound oil spill clean-up. He then joined Alyeska Pipeline in a Project Management capacity, including a stint in Fairbanks where he and Judy built a house on Chena Ridge.

Tom's love of the outdoors informed his entire life. He fished, hunted and camped everywhere throughout Southcentral and the Interior. He loved fishing the Southeast and especially the Kenai with son Ryan and daughter-in-law Renee. Up until his final days, there was nowhere he would rather be than duck hunting or out on the water fishing and listening to classic country music.

His bone-dry sense of humor, strong love of family and steadfast determination to always do the right thing defined Tom's life. He was rarely without a shirt pocket full of detailed and precise measurements for an upcoming project. One did not "measure twice, cut once" in Tom March's circle. One measured four times, minimum, and then adjusted the calculations as needed and measured four more times.

A quiet man with an undeniable and steady strength, Tom passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones. Tom is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judy; his two sons, James and Ryan (Renee Ryan); his beloved grandson, Logan; and his brother, Don March (Bridjette Powers).

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for a charitable donation in Tom's name to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Foundation.

Anchorage Daily News on September 1, 2020

 

 
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09/07/20 08:49 PM #1    

Bill Howitt

I knew Tom fairly well while he worked in Project Management at Alyeska.  His Obit pretty accurately describes his work ethic and also his "bone dry" sense of humor.  He was always very reliable and good to work with; a good person to have on any team.  He quietly got things done.  Sorry to see him go.

 


09/08/20 08:24 AM #2    

John Ferrell

I agree with all that Bill Howitt said about Tom.  I had to provide APSC Engineering support for Tom while he worked with Veco Engineering.  Sometimes, my contributions were adverse to what Veco wanted to do. He had to work hard to resolve these issues. Also, Tom was my neighbor while we both lived on Chena Ridge; we shared the same mail box post. 

I still have a vision of Tom sitting on my livingroom floor with his wife as Walter B. Wood gave a talk on his missionary work in Peru to other Alyeska personnel.


09/08/20 09:22 AM #3    

Mark Welker

I grew up with Tom, his younger brother Don, and Don’s wife Bridjette in the Bootleggers Cove neighborhood. We all graduated West Anchorage High School. Tom was a good guy and great family man who will be missed. 


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