Thomas Dale ‘Tinker Tom’ Innes passed away on October 3‚ 2010‚ as a result of a heart attack‚ which occurred following a call he answered as a first responder for the Hindsboro Volunteer Fire Department. For his service‚ he was honored with the Illinois Duty Death Gold Badge Award and is recognized on plaques at the Illinois Firefighters Memorial in Springfield‚ Illinois‚ and the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg‚ Maryland.
Tom was a proud lifelong resident of Hindsboro‚ Illinois‚ and had been the assistant fire chief. In addition to the fire department‚ he served on the Bowdre Township Cemetery Board.
On June 29‚ 1949‚ Tom was born to Robert Dale and Nora Mae Innes in Tuscola‚ Illinois. He graduated from Oakland High School in 1967. On June 14‚ 1968‚ he married Cheryl Sue Hallowell. Tom and Cheryl raised four children: Mike (Denise) Innes‚ Paula Innes (fianc_ Doug Williams)‚ Connie (Jeff) Hoel‚ and Carol (Alan) Myers. His beloved grandchildren were Jackson Thomas and Alex James Hoel and Malcolm Thomas Innes.
While attending college‚ Tom accepted a job as a highway maintainer with the Illinois Department of Transportation‚ from which he retired in 2002. To his credit‚ Tom had many interests. He was elected to the Oakland School Board and was a member of the NRA‚ Moose‚ and Teamsters. As his nickname reveals‚ Tom was always tinkering around. He maintained a busy lifestyle following ‘retirement‚’ devoting himself to his wife and grandkids and assisting Jeff Chambliss with his farm operation. He continued to plow snow for the township as requested.
His passion for restoring pheasant to our area was fulfilled through planting habitat for Pheasants Forever‚ an organization he donated his time‚ effort and enthusiasm to. He was also their treasurer. Tom’s hobbies included traveling‚ history‚ hunting‚ NASCAR races‚ and building projects. Most of all‚ he enjoyed spending time with his family‚ especially his wife‚ grandchildren and mother. Tom and Cheryl were an example of true love and were inseparable.
Tom’s gentle nature and ability to speak to anyone meant he did not know a stranger. A true hero is a grandpa who teaches with patience and love. Always there‚ and now never forgotten‚ his legacy lives on.