a letter from
Michael Warren '98-'00

Dear Florence, Steve, and Kate,

I am so sorry for your loss. At the age of 20 I lost my mother – it's not easy. My prayer is that God will strengthen your hearts and comfort you as you grieve. Tom was a great man. And at 35 years old, I have some poignant memories and thoughts of my time with Tom. My wife Tara met Tom over at the Pleasant Drive home in the first years you lived in Anchorage, but she never really got to know him. I found myself telling her lots of stories this week, as I began to grieve the loss myself.

I'd like to share an important memory.

I met Tom as he picked me up at my dorm room at Villanova University. He had traveled all the way from Nome to meet me, an interview to determine if I would be a good fit as a volunteer at KNOM. I was in a rough spot in my life. My Mom had passed away just a few months earlier. He knew.

I jumped in the car and we began to drive, and he took me to a place in southeast Pennsylvania I had never been to before. It was about 45 minutes away from the university, down farm roads with long stone walls that stretched around elaborate farms. It was beautiful.

We arrived at a museum, and he bought us tickets. For hours we slowly walked around. Every once and a while we would stop at a particular painting, and Tom would explain what he knew about the Wyeths (N.C. and Andrew) and their art careers. Here are two things I saw that day that I remember:

Museum photos

Before returning to the university, Tom took me to Conestoga Pizza, insisting that it was the best pizza Philadelphia had to offer, and half way through lunch he engaged me with some tough questions about my grief and the hurt of losing my Mom and how coming to Nome wouldn't take care of or eliminate the pain I was feeling. I told the truth about everything I was feeling and poured my heart out about the pull I felt on my heart for KNOM. He sure loved me well that day.

I look back on a man whose life work has made a difference in the lives of many. And at 35 years old with two children (and one on the way), I understand the weight of being a family man and a man called by God to do very significant things with his life. I don't know if we get to understand the magnitude of investments like the kinds Tom made on this side of heaven. But I guess I'd like to think that's what the Lord is blessing him with right now – a deep and heartfelt "well done" and a look into the legacies of the many lives he either saved or improved through his time here on earth.

I like to think that because I'm one of them.

Michael Warren

 

Photos from the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

a letter from
Fr. Paul Macke, S.J.: Washington, D.C.

Dear Parishioners of St. Joseph Church and Listeners of KNOM,

We could all tell endless stories of Tom Busch: both from “on the air” or “off the air” experiences at KNOM and as a faithful member of this Catholic Church for many years. I had the privilege of working directly with Tom at KNOM from 1977 until 1983, as pastor of St. Joseph’s parish from 1979-1983, and as acting director of KNOM from 1979 until 1980. We all know of the many awards KNOM has won under Tom, and his great service to the Alaska Broadcasters and Rotary Club both in Nome and in Anchorage. I had the privilege of being at Tom’s funeral in Anchorage on November 6 and heard many testimonials about him.

What struck me most about Tom was his dedicated perseverance in adversity. In the year I was acting director (1979-1980), KNOM lost its first staff member and Jesuit volunteer in the line of duty: Diana Gardenier was killed covering a news story when her plane crashed on the Norton Sound coast. Diana died along with eight others in that airplane. In the next few years, five others died from that same KNOM volunteer community. Tom could have given up, but he did not. This appeared in the Nome Static back in 1980:

General manager Tom Busch writes, in part: “Knowing Diana, we have learned a little more about faith, about what it means to commit yourself to an ideal, about love and the spark of divinity within every person, in which Diana believed so much.”

This same line now applies to Tom himself.

Later he was to find out that KNOM and his own family were victimized by the sexual abuse crisis. Tom was deeply distressed, but he did not give up. His faith was shaken, but it never broke.

Tom remained a loyal friend to me long after I left KNOM. I remember one time in 1998, when I had taken over as Executive Director of Holy Spirit Retreat House (now Holy Spirit Center) in Anchorage, I found out the retreat house had a serious debt that I did not know about until I became the director. I asked Tom for his advice, and he paid my tuition to the National Catholic Development Conference in Toronto. This gave me the confidence to raise the needed funds and quickly get out of debt. Tom was generous in more ways than you will ever know, and I am sure many of us could share similar stories.

Tom Busch has now gone to his eternal reward. May he rest in peace. And I pray that he ask Jesus to give us the grace to have even a speck of his perseverance, fidelity, and generosity.

My greetings to the Busch family, to the KNOM staff, and to all of you from Washington, DC, where I have worked for the last six years. “Eternal Rest grant to him, O Lord, and perpetual light shine upon him.” Amen!

Sincerely yours in the Risen Christ Jesus,

Fr. Paul Macke, S.J.
Leonard Neale House Jesuit Community
Washington, DC

memories and a photo from
Karen McLane: Nome, Alaska

I remember Tom in two ways:

  • Beach parties with the KNOM volunteers and burying him in the sand. (We had a photo of him all nicely tucked in, but I couldn't find it.)
  • The reel-to-reel films at our house, when I was a child. I never knew what they were watching, but I do remember being shown how to work the projector, and Tom was one of my teachers. (See photo below.)
Tom with projector
photos and memories from
Amy (Flaherty) Gorn '02-'08: Sitka, Alaska

I met Tom and Florence twice at volunteer fairs at my college. While I courted KNOM during the month of March (2002), he sent me the infamous Iditarod diary, in progress. Here's a college senior opening at 70+ page document late at night, about a sport of which she had no knowledge! I could have run away screaming, but his obvious love and excitement told me this Nome, Alaska possibility could change my life.

When I flew into Anchorage for the first time, Tom was at my gate, waiting to greet me. He had just flown in from Fairbanks and we sat waiting for Florence's plane to arrive (she was coming from Fairbanks too, just later).

He talked about the lack of certain products in Nome and how had he carried, in his hand bag, an item he purchased in Fairbanks and couldn't get in Nome. I had 20 questions to figure it out! I thought it was an intelligence test of sorts for new volunteers. I impressed him, though, and got close! I guessed some sort of green produce like Brussels sprouts. He was carrying a big artichoke. Once Flo flew in, we rented a car and made the traditional new-broadcaster visit to Augie Hiebert.

Mostly, though, every weekday morning for 3 years, Tom greeted me, and he made a point to talk and share about something. He started his work day as happy as could be, refreshed and ready to visit while I worked the morning show and Paul was doing Expanded Update News.

His wide-eyed, cheerful self would smile and enter Studio A, ready to launch into some story or thoughts. Mostly it started in response or comment to something I shared during the Morning Show: a story he thought of based on something I talked about on the radio. Or, maybe he read something on the Internet the night before and wanted me to know. Perhaps the night sky's stars were in a certain alignment and I should go look, or here's a cinematography magazine you may want to read, or he saw a movie the night before and was considering the actors' performances.

Maybe he remembered a story that led to a talk about marriage, mortality, faith and trying times, parenthood. He seemed just at ease contemplating the mysteries of life as he was discussing story arcs from the season of Northern Exposure I was borrowing from him and Florence.

Every weekday morning for 3 years I listened and learned from him in those one-on-one moments. What a gift. What an opportunity to share from my young life and have someone take my thoughts, trials, and interests seriously. He would always light up and stop his work to listen to my reflections and experiences when I returned from every village trip. He would delight in my details and recollections, and ultimately have a memory and story of his own to share in return.

Tom, Amy and Florence with RAV4

The photo above was taken on the Busches’ last day in Nome (in 2005); it’s Tom, Florence, myself, and their RAV4 in front of KNOM. I drove them to the airport, and when I drove away after saying goodbye and "until next time," the car was officially in my ownership.

Until just before their departure, I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift, so Tom had brought me to lessons at Nome-Beltz (High School) and around town. He could have just tried to sell the car to anyone, but he enthusiastically spurred this learning idea. What patience and great skill to teach a new way of driving to a 24-year old!

Then, this summer (2010), my husband Andy and I left the RAV4 at Tom and Flo’s Anchorage home while we honeymooned for nearly two weeks. Tom happily dropped us off at the airport and then brought the RAV4 to the airport when we arrived. (Flo followed in their vehicle.) To see him drive the car again more than 5 years later was a kick, and he declared he’d forgotten how fun the RAV4 was to drive!

Staff picture 2003
The KNOM staff in 2003. Top row, left to right: Kelly Brabec, Tom Busch, Amy Flaherty, Paul Korchin, Julia Dunlap; bottom row: Clinton White, Florence Busch, Emily Barrett, Lynette Schmidt, Ric Schmidt
At 2004 Gabriel Awards
At the 2004 Gabriel Awards ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri.
Tom and Florence with Josephine
Tom and Florence with baby Josephine, 2002.
Tom receives Iditarod Lifetime Member Award
At the 2005 Iditarod banquet, Tom receives a Lifetime Member Award.
Tom receives Iditarod Lifetime Member Award 2
Tom at the banquet podium with the Lifetime Member Award.
Tom and Florence with Tom's Iditarod Lifetime Member Award
Florence and Tom with Tom's Iditarod Lifetime Member Award.
memories from
Andrew DiGiovanni '94-'96: Goffstown, New Hampshire

In the two years I spent at KNOM, I experienced an enormous personal growth and professional learning curve. My volunteer stint was unlike anything that I could have otherwise had straight out of college. I have since felt the deepest gratitude for both the opportunity and the impact that this had on my life - and I owe this all to Tom.

Tom was a terrific engineer and manager, but remained connected with the listening audience with a daily two-hour show. The warm timbre of his voice and his upbeat delivery resonated with folks young and old around the music, through Hotlines and weather statements, and in educational spots like the Alaska Science Forum. Tom knew all of the old production tricks but implemented the latest technology. He sought out the finest new volunteers who could both perform well at the station and live harmoniously in its tight community. He welcomed input from each member of the staff at the weekly meeting. Tom taught us all how to use remote equipment and prepared us for adventures to some of the most far-flung locations on the continent. He truly believed in God's love and forgiveness, and practiced the same.

I remember Tom explaining that most KNOM listeners would have no idea what a golf ball looks like. He showed me that radio was so much more than formats or marketing; in the case of KNOM, it was a window to the world and a vital source of comfort.

Month after month, Tom relayed this to all of KNOM's contributors and praying supporters in The Nome Static. Though the newsletter defied all the rules of fundraising, its success was largely attributable to the fact that Tom intentionally used pictures of staff members, villagers and visitors who were smiling directly at the reader.

I extend my sincere condolences to Tom's family and the entire crew. We will all remember Tom and the times we spent with him inside and outside of the station. And we will always have the utmost respect and admiration for KNOM's legendary Iditarologist.

a letter from
Therese “Tweet” Burik

Dear KNOM, staff, volunteers, friends, and family,

What a shock and sorrow it was to get the news that Tom Busch passed away so suddenly. I had such a hard time realizing that it was true and how could it happen.

I have known Tom and Florence for years and years. I often called and talked with them on the telephone and visited them, both in Nome and in Anchorage.

I met Tom Busch in Alaska back in 1970. His presence on the radio was eager and enthusiastic: filled with love, concern, delight, and faithfulness. He did everything he could to get the work of the KNOM mission accomplished. I knew Tom for years, as I was the Business Manager at KNOM as well as at the St. Joseph Parish (in Nome).

Tom, we all miss you very, very much and ask God to grant peace, joy, love, concern, and all excellent efforts to keep KNOM going as you had done for years.

Love and prayers,

Therese "Tweet" Burik

a letter from
Marty Wind: KLUX 89.5HD, Corpus Christi, Texas

To our good friends at KNOM in Nome, Alaska:

Don’t really have any stories or photos, but if there was ever a Catholic radio organization and visionary that we identified with, it was KNOM and Tom Busch.

We sincerely mourn his passing, but he leaves for his greater reward, which he certainly earned.

In our opinion, Tom Busch represented Catholic radio thinking at its best.

His stations were all true to, and promoted, the Catholic faith and the Magisterium. He served both tirelessly, but he also took very seriously the expectations of his stations by virtue of having been granted an FCC license: namely, to serve the needs and concerns of his entire community.

Year after year, award after award, accolade after accolade: he did it all correctly and with great love for the Church. He truly was, and remains, a great Catholic radio pioneer.

The entire staff of KLUX 89.5HD in Corpus Christi, Texas, joins me in saluting this great Catholic broadcaster. We extend our condolences with assurances of prayers to Ms. Busch, the Busch family, and the Church in Nome, as well as the entire staff of KNOM AM and FM.

You’re not really leaving us Tom, and you’re definitely not off the hook: your greatest work for Catholic Radio is only beginning.

Pray for us all.

Marty Wind
Executive VP/GM
KLUX 89.5HD

a letter from
Terry Nauman-Williamson: Seattle, Washington

Dear KNOM Family,

I was deeply saddened to hear about Tom in the newsletter that came yesterday to my home in Seattle.

I was a nurse at the hospital from 1988 to 1990. I was not a JVC volunteer but spent time at the house with friends like Tom Bartol, Linda and MJ, Katie, and Mark. I remember Tom Busch as the anchor and heart of the station. He was always fixing things, including my 3 wheeler one time. I was very grateful.

It seems saddest to me that he may have passed without saying goodbye to so many people in his life, his family, his KNOM family and community. But I feel a faith-filled consolation that he passed on to heaven on All Saints Day and knowing, now, that he was also born on All Saints Day, too.

It is a testament to our faith that God had a plan for Tom and was greeted in heaven by a multitude of Saints. The example of his giving life inspires and reminds me to cling to our God who knows us and to live out each day to its fullest in faith!

Peace to you all!

Terry Nauman-Williamson
RN at Swedish Hospital in Seattle

memories from
Julianne Dickelman '82-'84, '86-'88

Tom the genius, Tom the great husband and dad, Tom the passionate, faithful leader, Tom the renaissance man... yet what immediately came to mind was:

  • Tom's love of Ogden Nash
  • Tom demonstrating for us at a staff meeting in the upstairs of the old station how to take a 2 minute shower (he stayed clothed!)
  • Animals in the News!
  • Tom's beloved photo of Rod Serling
  • Tom listening to me kvetch about community life and saying "never try to teach a pig to dance, it annoys the pig and wastes your time," which as been my mantra for lo' these many years
  • Tom allowed me to play at radio, inspired me with his creativity.
  • Tom married a great woman who was a wonderful friend to me.
  • Tom's legacy beams on.

Thanks Tom!

memories from
Jennifer (Holtorf) Kehr '04-'05: Eagan, Minnesota

During my brief six months as a KNOM volunteer, Tom gave me strength, determination and encouragement when I experienced difficult circumstances.

He was supportive and compassionate, and he continued to keep in touch with me after I left Nome, which was essential for me to fully heal: even years later.

Tom’s encouragement kept me going when I felt my strength was wavering and I lacked faith in my self-worth or future; his promising and uplifting words rang in my memory when I struggled and gave me strength.

Thank you, Tom, for helping me through difficult times and giving me support to carry on when I had so many doubts.

My prayers are with all of you.

memories from
MJ Hartman '87-'88: Richland, Washington

I was a KNOM volunteer in 1987-88.

Tom had what might seem like an impossible job: to get very green, young people with no radio experience to run a radio station. Yet under his guidance, KNOM not only survived: it thrived and won award after award!

When he gave me criticism, it never felt like criticism. And when he gave me praise, I felt like a million bucks.

Somehow he knew how to let the Holy Spirit have a crucial role in KNOM.

memories from
Tom Sofio '78-'79

I met Tom Busch while serving as a KNOM volunteer in 1978-79.

Tom was a true renaissance man: talented in so many ways. Few people believed that a radio station could survive in Nome, economically and due to the harsh conditions. Yet Tom made it happen, in part due to his diverse talents.

I was in awe of his technical knowledge: how he'd climb up towers and fix things in the middle of winter. But he also understood the importance of radio as an inspirational voice in the wilderness. He was an engineer, a communicator, an organizer, a fundraiser. And if that wasn't enough, he was a faithful husband and father, a student of history and cultures, an Iditarod promoter, a gardener, and on and on.

Tom: you were a light shining in the darkness.

We will miss you, but we will draw inspiration from you for how we should go about our daily affairs during our time on earth.

I have no doubt the saints and angels are welcoming you right now into eternal glory with Christ and God: the source of all love.

memories from
Katy Clark '88-'94: Canton, Massachusetts

Like so many who knew and loved Tom as a mentor and a friend, I am terribly shocked by the news of his passing.

I would not be the person I am today if I hadn't met Tom shortly after graduating from college in 1988. We bonded perhaps because we were both BC grads and from the East Coast. Or maybe it was because we both enjoyed doing the KNOM morning shift (although I noticed Tom didn't seem to mind too much when he eventually turned his slot over to a much younger KNOMer).

I always felt that it was divine inspiration that led me to Nome. Working with Tom, and learning radio from him, set me off on a life-long love of radio. I left KNOM after 2 years as a volunteer to try my hand at another station. Where, I didn't know. Tom patiently responded to my many requests for references for a job first in Kentucky, then Texas, then Nebraska, and finally Utah. After that last one, Tom said, "Why don't you just come back to Nome?" I'm glad I did. I had a lot more to learn from Tom.

I will never forget one particular hike I went on with Tom and several other members of KNOM's extended family. I forget which hill we tackled that day, but it was beautiful. After struggling for what seemed hours to cross the tundra without twisting any ankles, we made it to the top. I was drinking in the view and could have stayed for hours. But within 10 minutes or so of summiting, Tom said we had to go. Florence would be worried if we didn't get home soon. I could have killed him. Later, I smiled knowing how much Florence meant to Tom and how much he needed to get back to her.

I also remember visiting with Tom several years after I'd left Nome (the second time). He was in Boston to recruit volunteers and spent a night at my place. We stayed up late talking about his writing, his plans for the Anchorage home he and Florence were preparing to move to, and any number of other topics. Tom could have gone on ‘til sunrise. I felt terrible doing so, but I finally had to say I was exhausted and needed to go to bed. He never ran out of stories.

I'm sure Tom could have made a lot more money working somewhere else. For my sake, and for everyone else's who's had the pleasure to spend time at KNOM, I'm sure glad he stayed where he did.

My heartfelt condolences to Florence, Steve and Kate.

from
Diana Stokey: Ogallala, Nebraska

Sorry to hear of Tom’s passing.

He was a very kind man who loved radio. It was a pleasure to know him.

photos from the archives of
The Nome Static: KNOM Radio, Nome, Alaska

KNOM General Manager Ric Schmidt has said that “There would be no KNOM Radio without Tom.”

For many years, the same could be said of KNOM’s monthly newsletter, The Nome Static. All the way through November 2010, Tom was the one who kept each issue of the Static filled with photos and updates on KNOM’s latest activities and challenges.

Tom captured snapshots of KNOM in each Static issue. Here, in turn, are some of the snapshots of Tom that we were proud to feature in The Nome Static. (The photos below appeared in our online editions of the Static, from 1997 to 2010.)

As Tom would be the first to point out, each one of these pictures has a story or two behind it, and each one, also, represents an incredible network of support: from the many generations of devoted KNOM volunteers to our equally devoted network of supporters and contributors.

1970 - 1990
Young Tom on Tundra
In the summer of 1970, a young, slim, dark-haired Tom Busch sits on the tundra.
Tom with Dennis
Tom with King Island Eskimo teen Dennis Pikonganna in 1970. The two had spent several days digging at what would become the KNOM AM transmitter tower site, trying to determine subsurface soil conditions before the tower's foundation was constructed.
Nome in 1970 was, as Tom described, a "one horse town": literally. Every few days, a horse named King "would meander by the studio building for a scratch behind the ears," as Tom remembered. Here is King with Tom.
Tom with John Pfeifer
In KNOM's first year of operation (1971), a young Tom Busch, at left, and fellow announcer John Pfeifer ponder an engineering question in Studio A.
Tom cues 45 RPM record
Volunteer Tom Busch cues a 45 RPM record in KNOM’s Studio A, 1971.
Tom with Walter Cronkite
In 1982, Tom shares the podium of the Alaska Broadcasters Association banquet with broadcasting legend Walter Cronkite: the featured speaker for the evening. Tom had just been elected ABA's president; he was the first ABA president to come from a religious broadcasting organization (the second would be KNOM's current general manager, Ric Schmidt).
Florence on the tundra
In this August 1990 evening on the tundra, Florence Busch has picked nearly two buckets of salmonberries.
1997
Tom solders connection
Tom solders a connection inside KNOM's old AM transmitter building (in 1997).
Tom checks coils
In summer 1997, Tom checks the coils of the (then-new) AM transmitter antenna tuning unit.
Tom, Les and Antoinette Lauer
Tom - along with engineer Les Brown and generous donor Antoinette Lauer - cuts a ceremonial ribbon to inaugurate KNOM's new 25,000 Watt transmitter (in 1997).
Tom at transmitter
Tom gives the (AM) transmitter its "daily checkup."
AK Broadcasters Hall of Fame
Tom proudly displays a plaque showing his admission into the Alaska Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Tom was the 29th person to be so honored, and he said he was "astonished and delighted" to join their ranks.
Tom with 1997 Gabriel
In November 1997 - immediately after KNOM had received a Gabriel Award for Radio Station of the Year - Tom poses with Bishop Mike Kaniecki and 20 of the station's friends and supporters.
1998 - 1999
Tom with AM transmitter equipment
In late winter 1998, Tom checks a part of the equipment at KNOM's then-new AM transmitter site.
Transmitter work
April 1998: Tom does maintenance work on KNOM's transmitter.
Agnellus Andrew Award
In summer 1998, Tom receives the Agnellus Andrew Award: the highest Catholic honor that can be accorded a broadcaster worldwide. At the time, Tom is the only individual in North America to have ever received it.
1998 Gabriel Award
Tom accepts the 1998 Gabriel Award for Radio Station of the Year on behalf of KNOM.
With Tony Knowles
Governor Tony Knowles visits with Tom in one of KNOM's studios, just before going on the air for a live call-in show.
1999 Gabriel Award
Just after receiving the 1999 Gabriel for Radio Station of the Year at an awards ceremony in Las Vegas, Tom poses with KNOM staff, friends and supporters: including Father Mark Hoelsken, Ric Schmidt and Florence Busch.
1999 Christmas call-in show
On December 21st, 1999, Tom hosts a 7-hour call-in show, allowing Western Alaska listeners to call in and wish their loved ones a Merry Christmas. He puts 305 callers on the air: from Nome and 28 villages.
2000 - 2001
Tom tightens connection
Tom tightens a connection within KNOM's broadcasting antenna apparatus.
2000 Gabriel Award
In Orlando, Florida, Tom and Florence join friends and supporters to celebrate KNOM receiving the 2000 Gabriel Award for Radio Station of the Year.
Receiving Crystal Award
At the 2000 awards ceremony of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Tom receives KNOM's second Crystal Award for Excellence; it's NAB's highest public service honor. Standing with Tom are, at left, Eddie Fritts, President and CEO of the National Broadcasters Association, and at right, Bill McElveen, Chairman of the NAB Radio Board.
With Andrew McDonnell
Tom and volunteer Andrew McDonnell prepare to play an Alaska Native song, recorded years previously, in the hopes that one of KNOM's listeners will be able to identify it. (Some selections within the station's Alaska Native music library are unlabeled; Tom's "Name That Tune" game helps to put names on some of the untitled songs.)
Tom, Ric and Vikki Carr
From left to right: Tom, singer Vikki Carr, and Ric Schmidt, all at the 2001 Gabriel Awards ceremonies. KNOM was honored to receive a Gabriel for Radio Station of the Year.
Tom receives Gabriel
Tom accepts, on behalf of KNOM, the 2001 Gabriel Award for Radio Station of the Year.
Tom at Iditarod finish, 2001
In 2001, Tom broadcasts a live finish of the Iditarod Trail Sled-Dog Race (which ends in Nome). (In 2008, Tom estimated that he had interviewed about 800 dog mushers during the 32 Iditarods he covered.)
2001 Christmas Call-In
December 21st, 2001: Tom is still smiling (although growing a little tired) toward the end of a seven-hour call-in show, which allows Western Alaskans to make holiday greetings live on the air.
2002 - 2003
Tom examines transmitter equipment
Tom examines a piece of equipment at the AM transmitter in 2002.
Tom and Mike with Goldies
Tom and volunteer production director Mike Nurse display the seven Alaska Broadcasters Association Goldie Awards that KNOM had received in November 2002.
Tom accepts 2003 Crystal Award
In April 2003, on behalf of KNOM, Tom accepts a Crystal Award for Excellence in Community Service from the National Association of Broadcasters. (Tom's flanked by, at left, NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts and, at right, Radio Board Chair Virginia Morris.)
Tom in a tuxedo
Tom - clad in a tuxedo - representing KNOM at the National Association of Broadcasters' "Service to America Summit."
Walter Cronkite, Ric and Tom
It's a meeting of the broadcasters, as Ric Schmidt and Tom (center and right) talk with Walter Cronkite (left) at a broadcaster's dinner in Anchorage.
Tom accepts 2003 Gabriel
Tom accepts KNOM's 2003 Gabriel Award for Radio Station of the Year.
2004
Tom receives honorary doctorate
Tom receives an honorary doctorate at a special ceremony at Boston College, his alma mater. Here, he stands while the official citation of his honorary doctorate is read (as seen on one of the JumboTron screens in the Boston College sports arena).
Tom with academic hood
Boston College president Father William Leahy, SJ places the academic hood for Doctor of Humane Letters over Tom’s head.
BC President congratulates Tom
As seen on one of the large screens in the BC sports arena, Boston College president Father William Leahy congratulates Tom upon receiving his honorary doctorate.
With BC President
Tom receives an honorary doctorate from Boston College and receives congratulations from university president Father William Leahy.
Tom and Flo at BC
Tom and Florence at Boston College in 2004, just after Tom had received an honorary doctorate (seen in this photo tucked under his arm).
Tom calibrates equipment
Tom takes meter readings and calibrates equipment at the AM transmitter.
Tom in engineering
Tom at work in KNOM's engineering room.
2005 - 2007
Tom and Ric
The passing of the baton: Tom and Ric Schmidt share a moment in the spring of 2005, when Ric took over Tom's role as KNOM's general manager. (Through 2010, Tom continued to work as the station's development director.)
Tom takes measurements
On his first trip from Anchorage after stepping down as KNOM’s general manager, Tom takes some measurements in the AM transmitter building (in 2005).
Tom at generator
In September 2005, Tom is back in Nome, inspecting the transmitter site’s generator. (After a "once-in-a-hundred-years storm" knocked down a quarter-mile of utility poles, the generator is keeping KNOM on the air.)
Tom at home office
Tom at his home office in Anchorage in 2005, a few months after stepping down as KNOM's general manager (and beginning work as its development director).
Tom checks transmitter power modules
On one of his frequent visits to KNOM - this one in 2006 - Tom checks the exhaust of the AM transmitter power modules for temperature abnormalities.
Tom in St. Mary's
In 2006, Tom measures KNOM’s signal strength in the village of St. Mary's, about 180 miles southeast of Nome.
Tom in engineering
Tom does some fix-it work in KNOM's engineering room in 2006: this time, on the station's emergency broadcast device.
Tom with satellite dish
In Anchorage in April 2007, Tom tests out a satellite dish system that he's hoping to use to boost KNOM's signal in remote villages.
Tom with heavy module
In July 2007, Tom's back out at the transmitter site, doing maintenance on the twelve (heavy) power modules that keep the AM transmitter running.
2008 - 2010
Tom with remote control device
In 2008, it's more work at KNOM's AM transmitter site (this time, on the remote control: the box that communicates between the station's studio and transmitter sites).
Tom amid trees
Tom, at his home in the Anchorage area in 2008, appreciates something he'd missed during his many years in Nome: trees. (Nome is north of the tree line.)
Tom services AM transmitter power module
In July 2009, Tom gently services one of the AM transmitter’s power modules.
Les and Tom with FCC inspector
Les Brown (left) and FCC inspector Ed Sutton (middle) with Tom, just after KNOM's AM and FM facilities passed a thorough inspection in 2009. Les and Tom flew up from Anchorage to help with the thorough inspection process.
Tim and Tom
In the summer of 2010, Tom works with Tim Schmidt - the 15-year-old son of general manager Ric and business manager Lynette - to install a replacement FM transmitter at KNOM studios.