Our dearest father, husband, grandpa (aka Papa Tom) and friend, Thomas Kay Heywood passed away on Thursday, August 8, 2019 surrounded by his loving family, after a courageous battle with cancer and congestive heart failure. He was joyously welcomed on the other side by his recently deceased parents.
He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 19, 1959 to Joseph Fred Heywood and Rita Rae Webb. As a child, Tom grew quickly which earned himself fun nicknames such as, “Too-Tall Tom” and on the basketball court became known as, “Captain Hook” for his hook-shot skills. In his adolescent years, Tom and his cousin, True Ott never missed a church organized dance and relished in the attention brought on by their height and vivacious suits that were homemade by his mother, Rita Rae. Tom graduated from Granger High School, where he was a star basketball player and even took on music by playing the trumpet. He received a basketball scholarship to Rick's College and later to Weber State where his talents contributed to win the 1983 NCAA Big Sky Conference. As a result of his height and athletic ability, Tom was drafted by the Golden State Warriors. He then played professionally in Brazil.
He loved coaching and learning. He was the basketball coach for his children and numerous teams ranging from junior high, high school, and collegiate levels. In addition to his degree in Physical Education, Tom had a Masters in English and History, plus enough additional credits for a PhD.
Tom had a passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved the scriptures. He served two years as a full-time missionary in London, England, but never stopped being a missionary. He continued sharing his testimony as long as he lived, converting many friends and strangers. Tom’s church callings include those of seminary teacher in Morgan, Utah, Gospel Doctrine teacher, youth instructor, and Elders Quorum president (4 times), and high councilor.
His greatest blessing in life, Tom insisted, was family. He met and married his sweetheart, Dorothy (Deejay) Jensen. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Ogden, Utah temple on October 15th, 2016. They lived together in Ogden, Utah where Tom often quipped that “it was Heaven on Earth to have finally found his loving eternal companion.” He took great joy in visiting and playing games with his children and grandchildren.
Tom will be remembered not only for his love and concern for family, innate goodness and generosity, but also for his keen sense of humor and endless repertoire of deep-bass rendered original and popular songs.
Surviving are his beloved spouse, Deejay; his siblings: Kevin (Helene) Heywood, Kassi (Kevan) Bybee, and Klint (Leslie) Heywood; his four children; Joseph (Rebecca) Heywood, Magna, UT; Alisha (Michael) Salisbury, Ft. Lee, VA; Kirt (Shersti) Heywood, Morgan, UT; Spencer (Morgan) Heywood, Kearns, UT; five step-daughters; Suzie (Troy) Wies, Sandy, UT; Tawny (Jeremy) Stephens, Syracuse, UT; Natalie Cass, Sugar House, UT; Amy (Matt) Alverson, and Amber (Jessica) Bradshaw, Ogden, UT; 26 grandchildren and one shortly anticipated great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Fred Heywood and Rita Rae Heywood.
The family expresses their sincere appreciation to John Clawson (CNA/Best Friend), Kenzie and Jessica with A Plus Hospice, and Walker Mortuary for the loving care given at this time.
Please join us in celebrating the life of Thomas Kay Heywood Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 1:00 PM at the LDS Chapel at 3680 Eccles Ave Ogden UT. 84403. There will be a viewing at 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM prior to the funeral and Tuesday, August 13, 2019 from 6-8 PM at the same location. An interment service will follow the funeral at Myers Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery.
An account has been set up in Tom’s name at GoldenWest Credit Union for any donations to go towards funeral costs.