Celebrating Tom

 

Years ago, while I was a Pastor at Vineyard Cincinnati, I had the good fortune to meet, and come to love, the Adamec Family.  Tom, Diane, Steph, and Jenn are friends that became more like family.  They are so dear to me.  Sadly, Tom passed away on August 30th, leaving us all reeling.  He left a legacy of deep kindness and servant leadership.  It was an honor to call him my friend.  His girls asked me to speak at his Celebration of Life.  I’m sharing his eulogy here for those that asked to read it.  Rest easy my friend – I’m so thankful for the life you lived!


 

Good Evening. On behalf of the family, I want to thank all of you for being here as we celebrate the incredible life of Tom Adamec. He was a loving husband and a doting father. A faithful family man, and a loyal friend. He was proud to be your Mayor and loved this community with every fiber of his being.

 

Tom was larger than life, and the pain of his absence is a testament to the magnitude of his presence. Tonight we will reflect on a life well lived, and lean in to the legacy of faith and servant leadership that Tom has left for all of us.

 

As we begin our time together would you join me in a word of prayer?

 

Heavenly Father we welcome you in this place. Though our hearts are heavy with grief, we ask that you bring a spirit of joy and celebration to this space as we remember Tom. Hover over us with your presence and bring us your peace. Bless our time together Lord. Amen.

 

Sycamore Choir Performs

 

Blue Ash Police & Fire

Honor Guard | Amazing Grace

 

Take a deep breath my friends, for grief is heavy work. To Diane and the girls, please know, the weight of your sorrow is shared by those that loved Tom, and love you. You do not labor alone. In the days and weeks to come never hesitate to lean into those that love you. We are here not just for this day, but also for all the days, weeks, and years to come. We will steward his memory with you, allowing his influence to continue to shape the people we become. He will not be forgotten.

 

Our God promises us that he will wipe away every tear from our eyes; there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There will be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

 

The “former things” that slowed Tom down are no more.

 

As I talked with Diane about how to best honor Tom this evening she was adamant that we celebrate the hope he had in Jesus. The family takes great comfort in God’s promises to restore what has been lost, and though on the surface this day absolutely marks significant loss, they want you to know that there is a deeper storyline at work here.

 

This moment embodies the hope of things eternal. God has promised us that there is MORE. SO. MUCH. MORE.

He who began a great work in Tom has made his work complete and that is cause for celebration, thanksgiving, and praise.

 

Our Tom has been made whole.

 

Isaiah 40:31 tells us “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

 

This is really GOOD news.

 

Tom is no longer confined to a body that fails him. He has been set free. And for those of you that knew and loved Tom you know that he was not a man that liked limitations. An engineer by training, and problem solver by nature, Tom was a man who delighted in bringing people together to do big things. He made the impossible seem possible.

 

There is a phenomenon in chaos theory called the butterfly effect – whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large affects elsewhere.

 

Now, I know it may seem odd to reference chaos theory when speaking about Tom Adamec, given he was known for bringing order from chaos, but I do believe in this very moment we are physically experiencing a manifestation of this phenomenon.

 

Look around you.

 

Each of you here today represents a storyline that has been impacted by Tom’s deep goodness. Though I could speak for hours upon hours of the legacy of servant leadership that Tom imparted, I think its important to understand the foundation that he built upon.

 

What we have here is a complex system of relationships with layers of influence and impact that radiated from just one man.

 

He loved his family deeply and retired early to pour into his wife and daughters. The Adamec women are in a class by themselves. They are deeply kind, brilliant, strong, and compassionate. To know them is to love them. It is obvious why he invested in them so fiercely; they were his crowing glory; his greatest treasure.

 

He brought his best to his years at P&G and enjoyed a career marked with excellence in every way.

 

He was a loyal friend, making time for those he loved. Always present, bringing light and laughter wherever he went.

 

He was a civil servant and championed all things Blue Ash. He was passionate about cultivating leadership that served the people who call this place home.

 

He put his faith into action, always serving through his church. He built houses, lead outreaches, planted gardens. There was no project too great, no deed to small. If there was work that needed to be done, Tom was right there in the thick of it. Sleeves rolled up, ready to serve, without fail.

 

Do you see these ripples? Can’t you feel the magnitude of this man? What a gift he was to us.

 

Tom figured out how to take his one life and magnify his impact on a scale that none of us can fathom. He understood that by surrendering himself to the transformative work of Jesus he could leverage not just his own strength, but the power of the Almighty to make the world a better place. What brilliance! Well-done Mr. Mayor.

 

We are the grateful benefactors of that investment. If you knew Tom, you were a witness to that transformation. Tom showed us Jesus by showing up every day and loving us well.

 

His life’s work was an overflow of the redemptive work that God was doing in and through him.

Tom loved us because God loved him.

 

Tom was one man, in one place, doing one thing,

loving his people as he was called to do.

And so began a butterfly effect that touched each and every life here, and beyond, in ways that will continue to shape us for years to come.

 

Many of you have been given a single butterfly. There are 300 of them. As Tom’s friend Justin shares some songs that have ministered to the family in these impossible moments, we are going to set free these butterflies as we give thanks for a life well lived.

 

Tom is soaring on wings like BUTTERFLIES. He can run and not grow weary. He can walk and not grow faint. What a beautiful truth to behold.

 

We take this moment to praise God for that magnificent transformation.

 

Well done good and faithful servant, well done.

 

Music by Justin Mosteller – More now & Holding Onto You (Carrollton)

 

So where do we go from here? Tom was a planner and he has already shown us the path forward.

 

The greatest way to honor our friend is to take the lessons he gave us and make them our own, to surrender ourselves to the transforming love of Jesus. To surrender to the mystery and watch as the magic unfolds. To love our families, our friends, our communities with everything we have. That is how the legacy of Tom Adamec will live on, in each and every one of us.

 

As we close our time together this evening let us set our hearts on these words from John 14:27

 

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

 

Rest well Mr. Mayor – we’ll take it from here.

 

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