He was born January 1, 1929 in Anacortes to Jasper and Pearl Brighton.
Soon after his birth the family moved to Marcus, WA where they remained through Tom’s 6th year in school.
In 1942 his father was transferred to Spokane and the family settled in the Spokane Valley.
Soon after graduating from Central Valley High School, Tom enlisted in the military where he served in the 11th Army Airborne in Japan as a paratrooper.
He was on the boxing and softball teams and viewed his time in the Army as a great experience.
Returning home in 1949, Tom enrolled at Eastern Washington University.
On September 3, he married his long time girlfriend Zilpha Dale Shoff in the Spokane Church of the Nazarene.
He had decided to major in agriculture studies and transferred to Washington State University.
World War II was over, with many veterans returning home.
The newly-weds luckily found a tiny apartment in Pullman to begin their new life together.
Several of his high school buddies were attending WSU at the same time and it was a happy and fun period.
Following graduation Tom went to work for the Asgrow Seed Company in Idaho, but was soon offered a job as fieldman with the Green Giant Company in their canning division in Dayton.
He remained there until the cannery closed, then accepted a job with the USDA Farm Home Administration.
The family lived in the Washington towns of Kennewick, Othello, Montesano, Wenatchee before moving to Bowie, Maryland.
Tom retired from the national USDA office in Washington, D.C. in 1982.
During his retirement years he was a licensed realtor/appraiser and worked for the Chelan County Appraiser’s Office.
Tom and Dale have five children and seven grandchildren.
As a dad, Tom was present in all his kids’ activities.
He loved outdoor sports and, as an avid hunter and fisherman, taught his sons and grandsons to also love these activities.
He was a bowler and a licensed small airplane pilot.
Being community minded, Tom served on the Wenatchee Planning Board, belonged to Kiwanis, was a 40 plus year member of Lions International, served in several positions on the Chelan County Democratic Committee and was active with the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) until his death.
Tom is survived by Dale, his wife of 64 years, sons Patrick, Cashmere, and John, Olympia, daughters Mary Bowen, Olympia, Keo (Don) Rogers, Ephrata, and Katie (David) Noble, Wenatchee, grandsons Allex and Nate Rogers, Tom and Orrie Brighton, Kaden and Mac Noble and only granddaughter Brighton Noble.
We will say goodbye to our precious husband, dad, grandpa and friend at a memorial service at the First United Methodist Church, 941 Washington, St., Wenatchee, 98801 (corner of Washington and Miller); May 28th at 1:30 p.m. All are invited.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Tom’s favorite charity: The Alzheimer’s Research Fund, 644 Briarwood Terrace, E. Wenatchee, WA 98802
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