Tom Harasti (DEL 66) 1948 - 2020
By: Marek Malicki (DEL 66)
We were just north of the Seychelles in early March 2020 when we were told that we could not disembark because of the fear of COVID -19, though none of the passengers had symptoms. After ten days, and with great difficulty, we were able to disembark at Cape Town and found the last flights from South Africa through London to Canada. Tom was safe when he returned. We hugged and said goodbye. Tom succumbed to COVID-19 two weeks later. It may have been the limo from the airport.
We had travelled together before to far-off places - Cape Horn, The Great Barrier Reef. He had just retired and told us many times that this was the happiest time of his life.
Tom was a sailor, volunteer, engineer, Renaissance man and all-around decent human being. It was not time for him to go. After a knee operation, he had taken up skiing. He was a good father and loving husband to Judy.
De La Salle had a formative influence on him. I met him in Grade 9 since we both took the same bus home to Leaside. At that time, all of our teachers were Christian Brothers except for the occasional Toronto Argo teaching gym and physics. We were the ones who knocked on doors in our neighbourhood collecting funds for the hockey arena.
After leaving Del, Tom studied engineering and began his career at IBM.
He organized the quinquennial reunion of the Class of 66, one that produced lawyers, engineers, doctors, priests and an MP. Tom was the organizer of these reunions, meeting at his home with Donnie Grant, Greg Andrachuk, the late Tom Czudec, Peter Barreca (doctor for a number of Christian Brothers), Joe Grella, and I to prepare and plan. Most of the members of our class regularly attended the reunions, and the camaraderie and recollections of time well spent together led to the Class of 66 giving generously to the De La Salle Scholarship Fund. He is missed.
Requiescat in pace.
- Summer 2021