Thomas Jackson OldrinAugust 10, 1996 ~ August 6, 2017 (age 20)
Thomas Jackson Oldrin was born on August 10th 1996 in Kingwood, Texas, to Sarah Emes and Jack Oldrin. He attended Montessori preschools, St Mark’s Episcopal Elementary School and Lanier Middle School until, in May 2010 at the end of 7th grade, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This was successfully treated at Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer Center and the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. He started 9th grade at Bellaire High School in August 2011 and continued his studies there until the first semester of 12th grade. He graduated at the same time as his class of 2015, receiving his High School Diploma from the University of Texas Charter School while in a residential treatment program for substance abuse. He passed away on August 6th 2017.
Thomas endured school, despised homework and lived for the summers. He enjoyed being outdoors at Boy Scout camp, learning to sail single-handed, and camping and hiking or at the beach with family. He also enjoyed his activities where singing, dancing and acting engaged him with other like-minded students. His 6th grade performance in the title role of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (Gian Carlo Menotti) at Palmer Church was memorable. At Lanier Middle School he joined the orchestra program (cello and double bass) and as a freshman played double bass in the Bellaire High School Orchestra Senior/Junior Spring Tour. Indeed, missing the summer activities which spanned the breadth of his interests impacted him greatly when he was taken ill. Attending Florida National High Adventure Sea Base camp for which he had recently qualified as a scuba diver, making music at Camp Jam as a bass guitarist, singing at the Tulsa Royal School of Church Music Course for boys and men and spending a week at Camp Allen, one of his favorite places, were all cancelled, along with vacation trips with each of his parents.
As soon as he was physically able, Thomas got out and about with school friends, joined monthly Critical Mass bike rides, played paintball, rode skateboards, and tried BMXing which resulted in a broken collar bone. Then he turned to more creative pastimes; he continued to draw, paint, write, consume vast quantities of Manga, study Cartoon Network at all times of the day and night and explore anime, indie rock bands and civic issues at Houston’s many festivals.
Before and after graduating from High School, he sought personal independence and sound life principles with the help of many professional clinicians, teachers, alternative peer groups, family members and friends. Thomas worked on himself in a number of settings, including residential treatment centers, sober-living houses, and his home in Houston. He worked part-time jobs in Kingwood and Houston as part of his journey. In the last year he moved forward with his plan to study at university, but still struggled to follow a program leading to sustainable recovery from addiction disease.
Friends, family, mentors and teachers remember Thomas for his sparky, mischievous yet sensitive personality, his gentleness and especially his creativity. They were touched by how good he made them feel, the random hugs he gave, the wisdom he showed beyond his years, and his playful mastery of politically incorrect humor in any setting; he often revealed the funny side of life even with all its challenges. He really brightened the room whenever he was in it and we are all blessed by his gifts.
Thomas is survived by his father Jack Oldrin, his half-siblings, Christine Oldrin Wilson and Eric Oldrin, his mother, Sarah Emes and her husband Peter Gascoyne, his loving aunts and uncles in the US, UK and Malaysia, and his step-siblings, cousins, nephews and nieces in the US, UK, Canada, Norway, Malaysia and Australia.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made on Thomas's behalf to Long Term Survivor Program, Texas Children's Cancer Center, Attn: Lisa McCoy, 6701 Fannin, Ste. 1500.10, Houston, Texas 77030. Or to Cornerstone of Houston Team Counseling for Adolescents and Young Adults, 1619 Castle Court, Houston, Texas 77006, https://www.cornerstoneteamcounseling.com
Long Term Survivor Program/Texas Children's Cancer Center
6701 Fannin Street, Ste. 1500.10, Houston TX 77030
Cornerstone of Houston Team Counseling for adolescents and young adults
1619 Castle Court, Houston TX 77006