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Dr. Tom Lovelace

March 29, 1947 - March 7, 2021

Tom  LovelaceOn March 7th, Dr. Tom Lovelace peacefully concluded his time on earth, surrounded by his wife of nearly 20 years, Linda Armstrong, and close family.  Tom was successfully able to celebrate the momentous 100-year birthday of his dear mother, Jane Lovelace, just one day prior to his departure.  Preceded in death by his father Woodrow Lovelace, Tom endured a valiant battle against cancer.  Tom Lovelace, 73 years old, was able to gather with his children a final time over the weekend before declaring, “I am done”.
Tom began his life as a child in Portland, prior to moving to Salem OR in his early teen years, ultimately graduating from South Salem High School.  Tom was a Viet Nam veteran, having served on the Naval aircraft carrier “Coral Sea” in the Gulf of Tonkin.  Upon returning to Oregon as a civilian, Tom graduated from the previously name Western Oregon State College (WOU) and then graduated in the medical field of dentistry from Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), first-in-class.  Following graduation, Dr. Lovelace embarked on a fulfilling 31-year career as a Salem family dentist before retiring in 2010.  Lovelace professionally partnered with skilled dental assistant Margaret Saxe.  Always with a servant’s heart, Tom Lovelace also performed dentistry at the Oregon Women’s Correctional facility, assisting with the dental needs of Oregon’s female incarcerated community. 
Tom Lovelace was a man of adventure, curiosity, exploration, and discovery.  His greatest treasure was finding his soul mate and partner, loving wife Linda Armstrong.  The inseparable couple would be found camping, fishing, playing hands of rummy, rv’ing around the western states, or simply searching for agates together on the banks of the Santiam River.  Notes Linda, “We laughed every single day together.  We chose happiness each day.  Even in the end.”  Additional passions of Tom’s were surfing, hunting, skiing, and general outdoor activities.  If there was a river or lake nearby, Tom Lovelace would likely be found there.  An engaging and thoughtful personality, Tom made friends everywhere he explored and traveled. 
Along with wife Linda Armstrong, Tom Lovelace is survived by his mother Jane, sisters Nancy Hoffert (husband Pete) and Annie Seifer (husband Jack), as well as daughters Jaime Morris (husband Ted), Jessica Goffe (husband Jason), and Jackie Riffe (husband Jacob).  Tom’s world had three wonderful grandchildren who filled his heart with joy in Sierra & Landen Miller and Raelynn Riffe.  His nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and countless family members were vitally important to Tom’s personal happiness.  Three individuals who were most commonly by Tom’s side throughout his adventures were his dearest friends, Danny Quanbeck, Scott McLeod, & Dr. Jim Parosa. 
Tom and the family wish to deeply thank the medical professionals who tackled the challenges of his battle, specifically Dr. John Strother, Dr. Amitha Gona, and Dr. Bud Pierce, all gifted caretakers from Oregon Oncology Specialists.
By Tom’s request, there will be no service for his passing.  Instead, he asked family members to bring his ashes back to the sea.  His location of choice?  His common surf spot, the waves on the shores of Pacific City.  In his final moments on earth, Tom Lovelace shared with Linda and immediate family his simple, yet profound guiding messages, “First, always brush and floss.  Secondly, always ALWAYS choose happiness.”

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Guest Book Entries

Many prayers for Tom’s friends and family. We loved spending time with him when at family reunions. He had a gift of making everyone feel special and making others smile and laugh!  All our love, Steve and Michelle Kaiser and family. 

My heartfelt wishes for peace and comfort to Tom's family and friends .

I met Dr.Tom when he offered me a position in his Dental Praxis many years ago and when I was in great need for a steady job. I stayed and 26 years flew by before I knew it .As my employer Dr. Tom was a great teacher, consultant and a wonderful friend, not only to me, but also to my children.
He loved his own family very much and it was heartwarming to see how close knit they all are and  they always had kind words for me .

 His passion was  surfing ,fishing and camping and he  enthusiastically shared all his  experiences and never tired of explaining  the A to Z of fishes.
Professionally he was 100% dedicated to his patients and over time he converted many to become "Flossing Pro's".
He was a fantastic diagnostician and  performed the most difficult procedures with great skill, care and gentleness.
His patients had great confidence and trust in him and  never hesitated to sit in his Dental chair, they all wished he would never retire. He truly cared for his flock!
My children, Christoph and Tonja, asked me to express  their deepest sympathy to Tom's family and they will always treasure their memories of Dr.Tom .
With all the love in my heart and a million thanks for  the opportunity to have been Dr Tom's assistant .
Margaret Saxe.

Dr Tom Lovelace was a mentor, friend, inspiration and phenomenal dentist.  He taught me so much about dentistry and life.  Truly one of the best men and friends I ever had.  I loved Tom dearly and wish our time together was not so short. His memory lives on and his warmth is vibrant everywhere.  Dustin Wylam 

Dr. Tom will always be remembered by everyone who’s life he touched. He and his family were always so kind and caring to me! My thoughts and prayers are with his family now. He will always be missed and my teeth will always thank him!! 

I grew up in Northeast Portland two doors away from The Lovelace family. Our family, parents Bob and Thelma, along with my brother Bruce and sister Karoljane, spent time with all of the Lovelaces at their Neskowin property on the Oregon Coast. It was any idyllic time in our young lives, made more exciting with the guidance of Tommy Lovelace. He was older than I and younger than my brother, so I got to vicariously enjoy the antics of this trio despite my youth. I think the most valued experience that Tom bestowed upon my brother and I was introducing us to The Meadow at Hart's Cove just south of Neskowin. We visited that spot numerous times and always remembered that first  arduous hike with Tommy as our guide and being rewarded with the most spectacular rugged Oregon coastline views. Woody and Jane Lovelace were so welcoming to our family that I thought growing up in our "Beverly Cleary or Leave It To Beaver" neighborhood was the norm. Each year of my life has given me a greater appreciation for how wonderful our upbringing was. Neighbors like the Lovelaces and the Paquets (across the street from us), allowed us freedoms that don't seem possible today. My deepest sympathies are extended to sisters Nancy and Annie, and especially to mother Jane.