Thomas D. Oswald

Thomas D. Oswald, 74, of Strasburg and formerly of Bolivar, passed away in Aultman Hospital surrounded by his family on Sunday, January 12, 2014. Born in Canton on May 9, 1939, he was the son of the late Woodrow Wilson and Helen Mae (Loftus) Oswald.

After graduating from Sandy Valley High School, Tom continued his formal education at Wittenberg University and Kent State University where he obtained his bachelors and masters degrees, respectively.
As a young man, he was employed by the United States Forest Service for 6 summers as a smokejumper in Missoula, Montana.

Tom spent his professional career educating students at Canton City Schools for 35 years. After retirement, he was a technology trainer for PBS in Kent, Ohio.

The past 6 summers, Tom volunteered as a retired smokejumper clearing trails and assisting with odd jobs in Montana, Virginia, and Idaho. He was also a volunteer on the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Hobbies included reading, playing golf, watching sports, and most of all, supporting and spending time with his family.

On May 20, 1961, Tom married his lifelong friend and companion, the former Karen S. Kesling. They were blessed with 4 children including their daughters, Tracy Pope of Bolivar, Kyla (Randy) Cromer of Canton, Georgia, and Kelsi (Scott) Barnhart of Tappan Lake and their son, Toby (Marlu) Oswald of Monument, Colorado. Tom will also be deeply missed by his 9 grandchildren, Nate, Keaton and Jordan Pope, Colleen and Mallory Cromer, Brandon and AJ Oswald, and Colt and Clint Barnhart; his sister, Marlene (Claude) Kelley of Kenowick, Washington; and his sister-in-law, Michelle (Phil) Corse of Lake Forest, Illinois.

A memorial service will be held in the Geib Funeral Center at Dover on Wednesday, January 15 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Geib’s Tuscarawas Valley Crematory.
Memorial contributions in Tom’s memory may be directed to the National Smokejumpers Association, C/O Chuck Skelley, 10 Judy Lane, Chico, California 95926.

Those wishing to do so may send the family a personal condolence and light a candle in remembrance of Tom by visiting the funeral home website at

Geib Funeral Center at Dover 


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