Celebrating Tom’s life

MATTHEW SALZANO; Editor-in-Chief; salzanmp@plu.edu

A service celebrating Tom Pfeifle’s life drew friends and family to Pacific Lutheran University to share their stories of his adventurous spirit in Lagerquist Concert Hall on Sept. 22.

President Thomas Krise, Pastor Jen Rude and Tom’s sister, Anne Pfeifle, were among those who spoke during the service.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams stood together on stage while sophomore Kyle Rapacz and seniors Matt Macfarlane and Charles Mogen shared their remembrances of Pfeifle.

“Tom taught us all a really important lesson that we won’t soon forget,” Macfarlane shared with the crowd of more than 200 people. “To sing that Kanye song as loud as you can, to enjoy life as much as you can, to surround yourself with people you love, to live in the moment, to look for the best in everyone, to jump for joy when you’re happy and, lastly, to always go for a run.

“I’ll forever miss Tom but he’ll always run with me, stride for stride.”

During the event, PLUtonic evoked emotion from the entire auditorium with their rendition of “Oh Danny Boy.”

It “was painful to fully accept that he is gone, but it was so moving and cathartic to grieve among others who were impacted by Tom,” sophomore Kait Dawson, who had met Pfeifle during her first day at PLU, said.

Michael Halvorson, associate professor of history, shared his in-class experiences with Pfeifle during the service. Halvorson said he was “touched by all the student involvement” at the service.

“Tom was a unique person,” Halvorson said, “and because of the way he lived his life, his memorial service also brought out his multifaceted, spontaneous personality.”

Originally published in the Sept. 30, 2016 issue of The Mast and available online here.

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