Salem - Thomas Grant "T.G." Browning, age 67, of Salem, Oregon passed away on Saturday, January 23, 2021 of heart failure.
Tom was born July 5, 1953 in Prineville, Oregon to George & Clarajane (CJ) Browning. Raised in Toledo, Oregon as the proud son of two Navy veterans and educators, Tom was heavily involved in the life of Toledo High School (Class of '71). He competed on the football and diving teams, and also worked as a scuba diver at the Undersea Gardens in Newport. His devotion to his parents and beloved sister Francie Browning Cogan remained throughout his life, as he always considered the Oregon Coast his home and the memories created there as the cornerstone of who he was.
Soon after graduation, Tom attended the University of Oregon where he met his wife of 40 years, Susan Moore. They met while working together for Student Elections where Tom enthusiastically hailed all passing students and encouraged them to vote. On their first date Tom promptly told Susan he planned to marry her. Thankfully, she was not scared off and agreed to marry him a year later in December 1976.
Tom began his career at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) in 1978 and stayed with the agency for the rest of his career. Starting on a highway survey crew, he eventually found his ideal job in the traffic section. In his work with traffic flow analysis, he created innovative computer programs and models that improved agency practices and ensured public safety.
Tom's work took him all over the state he loved, driving around in his pick-up visiting often very remote locations, with his speed gun radar and flashing blue light at the ready. Tom's two children, Cassie and Hilary, have fond memories of his tales of adventure during these trips.
When Tom was in his mid-40s he began to lose his hearing due to an autoimmune disorder. This would eventually result in his losing his hearing entirely. His loss was extremely difficult for a man who loved music so dearly and who valued communicating with his friends and family. However, Tom refused to let this define him and continued to engage with life and reach out in the mediums that were available to him. Always a writer, T.G. began to focus more on his love of the written word and went on to publish several books and essays, always with a satire and humor as the foundation.
Tom was a renaissance man in the finest sense of the word, his curiosity was unlimited, and he enjoyed many different interests, including:
• Astronomy / telescopes (grinding his own mirrors and getting dust everywhere!) • Music (playing the guitar and making sure his children were well acquainted with classic rock) • Literature (especially a love of sci-fi/ fantasy, history, humor, and fiction) • Animals (a cat man before the term existed, no stray was safe if T.G. was around; there was always more room at the inn) • Computers (starting his own computer programming business in the 80s, before few people even used a computer) • Traveling (preferably to warm climates, especially his beloved New Orleans) • Movies (the cheesier the monster movie the better, along with classic comedy)
Tom was a gentleman with enormous integrity, generosity, intelligence, charm, wit, and kindness who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. When he was around, life was certainly never boring!
Tom is survived by his children Cassandra Browning (UK), Hilary Browning (Shelton, WA), ex-wife Susan Moore Browning (Salem, Oregon), and niece Elizabeth Cogan (Eugene, OR). He is preceded in death by his parents George (Frank) Browning and Clarajane (Dick) Browning, and his sister Frances (Francie) Browning Cogan.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Meadow Creek Assisted Living Facility for the outstanding care they provided. A celebration of life is planned for August (date to be confirmed). Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.