Tom Walton was a treasure and a local hero to the Concord youth sports and endurance sports communities for decades. His can-do attitude made him a natural teacher and trainer who influenced a generation of athletes of many stripes. He was exceptionally generous with his support of so many groups and events, offering his expertise, experience, and help to whoever asked.
Our introduction to Tom goes back to March 2010 (a full year and a half before the founding of the Friends of the MRGT), when he copied us on an email to a colleague with a passionate and well-reasoned case for why the MRGT should go through the prison land, north of downtown Concord.
Tom was a member of our first volunteer cleanup team who were mustered to remove tons of accumulated debris along the cornfields behind the Post Office in 2011. He returned for another full day cleanup session in 2022.
When we were looking for opportunities to raise public awareness about the MRGT, Tom came up with the idea of holding a family-oriented triathlon in the cornfields in 2012, then he went about the hard work it takes to make it happen. He did it again in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2022. The hiatus between 2015 and 2022 was not because Tom was burned out, it was because our board of trustees couldn’t keep up with him!
Tom passed away recently. Friends of the MRGT lost a very strong and loyal supporter and a true friend. We are blessed for having known him.
Christine Vigneault, the FMRGT Trustee who co-chaired the 2022 event with Tom, said it best:
“I am devastated. It's no secret that Tom saved my butt. He wouldn't let me throw in the towel when things took a turn, showed me the true meaning of ‘where there's a will there's a way’, and he made me laugh at the ridiculousness of our situation. When I needed a friend, a mentor, and a miracle, Tom offered me all three. I am just shocked, and so, so sad.“
Whether on snow, ice, water, roads or trails, Tom led by example - he really “walked the walk”. Tom was one of a kind. There will never be another.
Rest in peace, Tom, and our sincerest condolences to your family and the many who called you “friend”.
Donations received in Tom's memory
$500 from Anonymous, in memory of Tom Walton
$75 from Susan Shifrin, in memory of Tom Walton
$25 from Ann Hebert, in memory of Tom Walton
$25 from Saletta Shuman, in memory of Tom Walton
$100 from Maxine & Lawrence Phillips, in memory of Tom Walton
$25 from Denise & Gregg Fournier, for Tom
$25 from Cathy Yeager, remembering Tom Walton