MISSOULA — Tom Brigham was born in Seattle and grew up in Southwest Oregon, where his father James Hunter Brigham worked as a forester and mother Charlene Mathilda Brigham (née McDowell) was an artist. He graduated from high school in Coos Bay, where his love of the outdoors and transportation developed early. He could occasionally be convinced to tell stories of his adventures hopping freight trains the summer before college. Tom received a BSc in engineering from Oregon State University (1969) and an MSc in civil engineering from Stanford University (1975), worked at MIT as a researcher, and served in Peace Corps Iran in the 1970s.
His love of adventure, as well as his father and uncle’s work on the TransAlaska Pipeline and in fisheries, led him to Alaska in 1982. There, between climbing mountains, he led many of Alaska’s city- and statewide transportation projects. In 2003 he became the Pacific Northwest Regional Transportation Planner for HDR and split his time between Anchorage, Alaska and Missoula before moving to Missoula in 2012.
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Tom was an avid cyclist and always found time for hiking, rafting, and skiing with family. He is survived by his wife Ginny Fay, daughters Robyn and Vanessa Brigham, stepchildren Thane Fay and Ian Fay-Hiltner, and cousins Barbara (Jeffery) Griffin, Ann Crull, and Jack (Myra) Hanover.
Because Tom was loved in so many places, three celebrations of his life are planned. The first will be in Missoula on July 28; the second in Anchorage, Alaska, on August 24; and the third in Juneau, Alaska on August 27. For more details, and to send your favorite pictures of Tom, email firstname.lastname@example.org. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Doctors Without Borders in memory of Thomas Bell Brigham.