Leslie “Tom” Pike
Nov. 7, 1926 — Nov. 11, 2013
Leslie Thomas “Tom” Pike was born in Walla Walla to Samuel Francis and Eula Dunlap Pike. Tom resided his entire life on the Wallula Avenue acreage where his maternal grandparents settled from Tennessee.
Tom was a hard worker and never stopped tinkering. Tom’s work ethic started early and allowed him to buy a parcel of the Wallula Avenue property at age 16 from his grandmother. Tom worked for local companies in his younger years, but most will remember him for his many years as Ditch Master for the Blalock Irrigation District and as a volunteer firefighter with District 4 for 29 years.
Perhaps surviving scarlet fever as a child was what gave Tom such a zest for life; always quick with a laugh and many stories to share. Tom’s favorite stories always involved riding motorcycles in his younger years with his brother, Bud, and other local “hooligans” and usually included some kind of horrific crash they lived to tell about. Tom’s bike “Rosalita” was his pride and joy and partner in many stunt riding exhibitions.
Tom married Vena Allessio on Feb. 25, 1952, in Walla Walla; Vena preceded him in death in February 2003. Tom and Vena never had children, but Tom counted his nieces and nephews and their children as his own. Nephew, Charles Pike and wife Aldeen, had been Tom’s caregivers over the past several years as his health declined. And Tom never met a cat he didn’t befriend to give a meal to or doctor back to health.
Tom is survived by sister, Virginia Glasford of Richland; brother, Clarence and wife Ruth Pike of Milton-Freewater; and sister-in-law, Shirley Pike of Newberg, Ore.; brother, Wilton “Bud” Pike preceded him in death. Tom is also survived by several nieces and nephews and their families.
A graveside service will be held Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. at Mountain View Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Blue Mt. Humane Society through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA. Family & friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.