“Not doing much, except nothing,” a typical reply from Tom Hegg when asked what he’s been doing. Tom left us on the evening of January 13, 2015 at the age of 55. He was born September 5, 1959 in his beloved town of Columbus, a place he left only for good cause. Born the middle of five children to Kenneth H. and Dorothy “Pete” Hegg, he spent his days running amuck in the shadows of Davey Crocket and Dennis the Menace.
He caused ruckus with his brothers Dennis, Jack, and Rob and worry for his sister Kim. When he wasn’t out fishing or trapping in the foothills of Keiser Creek, he was causing trouble in the Columbus school system. So much trouble that he had to cause trouble at Reed Point High School to graduate!
Shortly after graduation, Tom married the love of his life, or rather the love of his couple years, Leslie Wright of Absarokee. Although the relationship was short lived, Tom and Leslie had one son, Chris.
Tom loved his son and tried to raise him in a fashion similar to the way he was brought up. They spent days on the river and mornings waiting for the sun to rise and the hunt to begin. He loved hunting and rarely broke his rule of thumb that “if you’re gonna shoot it, you better be able to get to it with the truck.”
Not known to be a quitter, Tom tried his hand at marriage again and married into a tribe, literally, when he and Darlene Stadel said their vows on July 1 1990-something. Nobody knows for sure because no one was invited and that’s the way they liked it.
Tom inherited an instant family with four new boys and at times five kids, plus friends in a small two bedroom apartment. While never a dull moment, Tom still managed to lead a life where stress rolled off his back, as water rolls over pebbles. As the boys grew, Tom reveled in his role as Grandpa. He was often the tragic victim of a wet willie, but the triumphant grandchild’s victory didn’t last long as the badgering and bantering went back and forth.
Tom was one of the most loyal friends a person could have; whether it was branding, calving, moving cattle, bucking hay, or just talking, Tom was always willing and ready to lend a hand. New acquaintances turned into old friends at the Atlas Bar where EVERYBODY knew his name. Tom enjoyed being social whether it was at a local sledding hill or a gun shoot. He felt very strongly that friendship was one of the most important things a person could possess.
Tom is survived by his wife, Darlene; son Chris (Nicki); parents Ken and Pete; brothers Dennis (Cass), Jack (Tonee), and Rob (Cheryl); sister Kim (Butch); stepsons Shawn (Steph), Clinton (Heidi), Kyle (Amy), Jason (Stephanie); grandchildren Bailey, Duell, Brayden, Nick, Shayne, Cahill, Grace, J.B., Tony, and Halee; nieces Angie, Colette, and Peyton; nephews Guy, Hayden, and Gunner; and many friends that he considered family.
So now we say goodbye as Tom is in “The Land” in the sky where the rivers are plentiful and the hunts are easy. He’s whittling with Grandpa Tom and socializing with his buddies. He is missed.
Memorials may be sent to Stillwater County EMS or to the charity of one’s choice.