08/03/1966 — 08/03/2010
In April of 2009, Tom had a mole removed from the top of his head. Due to many years in the sun without a hat, playing golf, fishing and riding around in boats and cars with the top down that mole was melanoma.
He underwent surgery to remove the skin on top of his head where the mole had been as well as the lymph nodes for that place on his scalp. Everything came back cancer free. 11 months later Tom was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, primarily in his chest, lungs, and spine. After extensive radiation treatments, and two very difficult chemotherapies. Tom was accepted into the Ippilumamabb clinical trials at the Hutchinson Clinic in Hutchinson, Kansas. He was so excited to get the opportunity to try the Ipi. He had a lot of hope that it might help him and relieve some of the incredible pain he was experiencing. We had great hope that Tom would beat melanoma due to his track record in overcoming so many obstacles in his life. He had an adverse reaction to the Ipi one week after his first treatment. This reaction was only the second of its kind and although unfortunate will save others because they will know more about reactions to the drug.
Tom was a wonderful husband and father with an incredible sense of humor. He lit up a room with his enthusiasm and jokes. People always said they wished they could be a fly on the wall in our home. He always had a funny story to tell or joke, what we now call “Tommyisms”. He died on his birthday which was always a big holiday in our home. Every year he joked about being thankful for having made it another year.
He loved his friends, in fact I would call him a friend collector as he never met a stranger. The amount of people who loved him, friends and family alike, is a testament to how he lived his life. His gregarious personality has had me laughing for almost 25 years. I will miss his deep voice and loud booming laugh. We will all miss his “cease the day” personality and love for us. In the end he believed that it’s not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. And Tommy lived his life to the fullest.
He is survived by Kari and Avery Purdin his wife and daughter and Thomas Purdin, Sr. and Gaytha Purdin his father and stepmother. He is preceded in death by his mother Phyllis Lasater Purdin Davis and his brother, Michael Davis.
His plan was to beat his melanoma and then help in the fight to keep others from having to go through what he went through. All of us who love him “Team Tommy” will fight on his behalf.
Kari (wife) and Avery (daughter)