Thomas James Seifert
On April 12, 1953, Jim and Billie Seifert of Mankato, MN, welcomed Thomas James Seifert into the world as their first child. He was followed by his sister Ann and two brothers, John and Bill. He attended Loyola Catholic Schools before moving to Idaho to attend Boise State University.
In Boise, Tom lived with his Uncle Bob and pursued his Master’s degree in US History. He fell in love with the wild outdoors of Idaho, becoming an avid elk hunter, fisherman, and snow skier. During that time, Tom also discovered his life’s passion for education and coaching. Over the next 30+ years, Tom had the opportunity to work with remarkable students, teachers, coaches and athletes, developing lifelong friendships. His work with fellow dedicated educators left a lasting impression on countless students.
Tom began his teaching career at the Robert Janss School (ISCI), followed by 10 years at Lowell Scott Junior High. At Lowell Scott, he was involved with coaching 7th-grade boys’ and girls’ basketball, 8th-grade boys’ basketball, 8th-grade heavyweight boys’ football, and the ski team. He also became involved in the Peer Mediation and Natural Helpers programs.
It was through sports that Tom met the love of his life, Susan Dearing. They married on March 23, 1982. Sue brought into the relationship two wonderful children, Rich and Jennifer, whom Tom adopted and loved unconditionally.
When Tom moved to Centennial High School in 1987, he continued the Peer Mediation and Natural Helpers programs, which were presented to other high schools through the generosity of Idaho Public TV. At Centennial, Tom worked with fabulous team teachers to develop a hands-on and academically rigorous curriculum called American Character, a combination of American Literature and US History. It was one of the school’s most popular classes, and students still talk about it today. While at Centennial, Tom was honored to be named Teacher of the Year. Tom was also involved with coaching Centennial boys’ basketball. He began with 9th-grade boys, sophomore boys, and Junior Varsity boys winning District III titles. Later Tom became Varsity Assistant Coach and was able to share in winning two state championships with the players and coaching staff under Coach Aipperspach.
In 2004, Tom transferred to Eagle High School, where he became the Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach while continuing the American Character program and teaching AP Government. He worked tirelessly to build a basketball booster club and raise support for the program, twice being named District Coach of the Year. Tom also worked for the Meridian Education Association as a negotiator.
In 2013, Tom retired to enjoy more time pursuing his hobbies of llama trekking, fishing, hunting, and being with his family. It filled his heart to share the outdoors with loved ones. He never stopped teaching others or seeking to learn new things. He will be remembered for his humor, adventurous spirit, caring heart, and unceasingly positive attitude that inspired everyone who had the privilege to know him.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents. He is forever in the hearts of his wife Susan; children Rich (Kimberly) Seifert of Meridian, ID, and Jennifer (Ryan) Hood of New Plymouth, ID; grandson Darian; three siblings; and numerous extended family members. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to St. Luke’s Cancer Institute. Thank you to Dr. Z, the excellent nurses, palliative care, and St. Luke’s Hospice.
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Donna Schamber McDevitt saysJune 23, 2021 at 4:06 pm
I am so very sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was such an awesome person to work with both as a teacher and coach. I was the bookkeeper at Centennial High School for a few years and his favorite saying to me was ” I would rather beg for forgiveness than ask permission”. I send my prayers and love to you and all of Tom’s family.
Patricia Roderick saysJune 25, 2021 at 2:22 pm
Tom and I worked together at Robert Janss School MANY years ago. I was so sorry to read of his passing. At the prison we were a small and tightly-knit group, mostly young and just starting our educational careers. I remember Tom as an excellent history teacher who was highly regarded by students and staff. It was interesting to read all that he accomplished since leaving ISCI. I’m sure he had a significant impact on the lives of many students and athletes and served as an excellent role model. My prayers go out to his wife, children, and family. May you take comfort in his life well-lived.
Paula Hull saysJune 25, 2021 at 6:15 pm
My thoughts and prayers are with your family as you move through Tommy’s transition. He was a wonderful man.
Wanda Tschirgi saysJune 27, 2021 at 3:31 pm
Sue – I am so very sorry for your loss. I remember when you first met Tom. I thought it was a one of a kind love story. I’m sure you’ll be sustained by beautiful memories of your time together.
Shane Sterling saysJune 28, 2021 at 9:32 pm
Tom will be missed by all that knew him. Good teacher, good neighbor, & a good man. Hugs, Sue, Rich & JJ.
Lavona Mellin saysJuly 6, 2021 at 11:20 pm
Tom was such a bright light in our community. He gave his all to students, athletes, to unsolicited needs he saw in the neighborhood, and later to the little ones so curious to get up close and personal and to learn about his and Sue’s llamas. Such a kind, steady, helping, giving, wonderful person that I was privileged to know! May God strengthen and sustain you, Sue. Whenever you feel ready, I’d like to come visit, or go to lunch sometime, or have you come here for the same. I loved Tom, and I love you, Sue!
Mike Ihli saysJuly 7, 2021 at 5:19 pm
I knew Tom as a coach and as a friend. Even though I haven’t seen him for many years, I remember him fondly. He coached a couple of my kids, and he and I played Sunday night pickup basketball together. I always enjoyed talking with him about his elk hunting exploits and I remember times like when we gathered at Aipperspach’s to watch professional wrestling with Cindy Lauper as the ring referee. It was a hilarious time all cooked up by Tom. It hurts to know that he’s gone. Love and prayers to Sue.
Mike & Linda Ihli
Nathan R Thomas saysAugust 16, 2021 at 11:10 am
I was in Mr. Tom Seifert’s class in 2003 at Centennial. He was my absolute favorite teacher in high school. I remember his class sparked an interest in history that has lasted throughout my life.
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