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