In the late morning hours of Thursday, November 14, 2002, Thomas Patrick Shannon (Tommy, Tom, Tizzo) passed away peacefully from cancer. Approximately three weeks before, we learned of the return of Toms cancer when he had a stroke and was hospitalized for a short while. Tom spent his final week at home, playing bass, loving his cats and surrounded by family and friends. Tom was my best friend and a devoted, loving husband.
Who was he? He was the best son, big brother, husband and friend there ever was. Each of us knew a different man but we all knew his charm, quick wit, sense of humor and capacity for love. Its true that Tom was a musician of a caliber not often seen, but he was so much more. His integrity, strength of purpose and uncompromising trust in reason is, perhaps the most important legacy hell leave behind.
Tom wanted to change the world.
Musicians all over the world mourned his passing. Many stick players had business as well as social interaction with him on a regular basis. One stick player reminded us that, somewhere, in some part of the world, a musician is picking up a stick that Tom made and is making new music. Death & Taxe$ fans have written to share in our loss and cheer us on. Tom changed the world.
Many of Toms friends have been dumbstruck since the news of his passing. Some have busied themselves with helping on the new album. Others have done their best to take care of Toms family. In big ways and small, weve all Come Together to love each other as he loved us. Tom changed our world.
I met Tom as a child, at age 19. I tried my best to push him away, rationalizing that he was too far away, too much older, too soon to get that serious. After just a few conversations, resistance was futile and I was assimilated. His silly jokes made me blush and I hated it when he called me Baby. After a very short time, I couldnt see myself without him. From the time that I met him, he watched me grow from a shy, farm-girl into an executive in a large property management firm. He loved the child I was, the woman I grew into and the wife I came to be. He always encouraged me and supported every interest I had, even when he didnt always want to join in. He always told me how proud he was of me. But I was so very proud of him. He was my trophy husband, the perfect fit in every way. We never argued and we earned each others love completely. Tom changed my world.
So, we each knew a different man but the sum is always the same. We each have a part of him in us. That is why he chose us as friends. So we all fit together like a puzzle, completing the picture of his life. His life is one which we will celebrate forever and, in this way, his work will continue.
With a smile in my heart,
Tom's obituary, as published in the L.A. Times
Written by Kathy Malmfeldt (Tom's mother)
Thomas Patrick Shannon died peacefully November 14, 2002 from cancer. Born March 25, 1966, Tom was a graduate of South High in Torrance and a supreme autodidact. He was a loving husband and son, loyal friend, gifted bassist and songwriter, rational thinker, lover of truth, and organized and efficient worker. Thomas Jefferson's words about Meriwether Lewis are also true about Tom: "Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction, careful as a father of those committed to his charge, yet steady in the maintenance of order and discipline
of sound understanding, and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous
Tom was loved and admired by many, especially his devoted wife Audrey, mom Kathy Malmfeldt (Ron), dad John Shannon (Judy Sonney), sister Meghan Shannon, grandparents Lester and Elizabeth Lamb and Dell Tonkin (Bud), stepsiblings Rebecca Castanza (Jason), Laura Malmfeldt and Michael Malmfeldt, uncles, aunts, cousins, his many musician "bro's", other family members, friends, and fans, who will all miss his creativity, sense of humor, search for knowledge and devotion to truth and rational thought. Thanks to Dr. Williams and the 5N nurses at Kaiser Woodland Hills for their extraordinary efforts and kindness.
In accordance with Tom's wishes, his body has been donated for scientific research.