Thomas Briden Dafoe, 44, of Arbuckle, CA, lost his life in a tragic accident during the MayDay STOL at Wayne Municipal-Stan Morris Field in Wayne, Nebraska, on Friday, May 20, 2022. Tom was born to Irene (Hutton) Dafoe on June 19, 1977, in Grand Forks, ND.
Tom is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and their five children: Mikaela (Jake) Ferreira, Zechariah, Briden, Caleb, and William. Other survivors are his mother, Irene; sister, Jaime (Greg) Bazar; brother, Richard; sisterin-law, Becky Dafoe; son-in-law, Jake Ferreira; granddaughter, Vivian Ferreira; and many loving uncles, aunts, and cousins. Tom was preceded in death by his grandparents, William and Dorothy Hutton and Thomas and Joyce Dafoe.
Tom is remembered as a God-fearing man, loving husband, father of five children, and passionate aviator who exuberated great enthusiasm for the general aviation community. As a sales director for jetAVIVA and a previous employee of Cessna Aircraft for 21 years, Tom had a successful career in general aviation and left his mark on the industry. His loss is felt across the industry and the general aviation community.
Tom was an adventurer. Raised as a farm boy in North Dakota, he had a deep connection with the soil and loved making things grow. Working the fields in the Red River Valley, watching hawks soar, and Grumman Ag cats at work piqued his interest in aviation.
Although his collegiate studies began with classical piano performance studies, he redirected to aviation midway through his sophomore year. After learning to fly and earning his Airframe & Powerplant certificates, he went to work for Cessna Aircraft Co. where he spent 21 years at their Citation Service Centers, ultimately as General Manager of the Sacramento facility. Tom was best known for connecting with his customers, listening to their needs, and always seeking solutions that were in his clients’ best interests. Tom’s first professional foray into sales was representing the Cessna brand of Utility Turboprops for Textron Aviation in Western North America. It took only one flight in the Grand Caravan EX to fall head over heels for this rugged plane.
Farming almonds with his wife in northern California kept Tom grounded. But when there was free time to be found, you could find Tom floatplane and tailwheel flying.
The memorial service will be 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 7th, at The Father’s House (church), 4800 Horse Creek Drive, Vacaville, CA 95688.
A gathering will be held following the memorial at Swabbie’s on The River; 5871 Garden Highway, Sacramento, CA 95837.
In lieu of fresh flowers, you may donate a live rose plant to add to Tom’s rose gardens at Briden Wilson Farm (http://homegrownalmonds.com/donate) or to Mission Aviation Fellowship – designated in honor of Tom (https://give.maf.org/donate). ■
PUBLISHED 6/09/2022 • COLUSA COUNTY PIONEER REVIEW #2022-0616