Thomas David Rodrique (Tom) was born Sept. 14, 1925, and grew up in Aberdeen, WA. He died on March 4, 2022, at the age of 96. He was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn (Nerud) Rodrique and his brother Mair Rodrique. Tom graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in music and received his master’s degree in music from Seattle University in 1955. In 1944 he studied viola and conducting with Francis Aranyi, the founding conductor of the Seattle Youth Symphony, and joined the orchestra that year. In 1945 Tom was selected as Mr. Aranyi’s assistant conductor and in 1950 became the first leader of the Little Symphony, now known as the Debut Symphony Orchestra. In 1948 Tom performed Mozart Symphonia Concertante at a Youth Symphony concert with Evelyn Nerud. This was the beginning of a relationship that blossomed into a loving marriage for 61 years until her death in 2011.
Tom was a member of the Seattle University music staff from 1954 to 1958 and then joined the music staff of the Shoreline School District until his retirement in 1983. He was a favorite teacher and mentor to many and stayed in contact with them through all these years.
After retirement in 1983, Tom and his beloved wife Evelyn, traveled extensively around the world. They traveled to Mazatlan, Mexico for over 30 years during the winter months and made many lifelong friends. As weather warmed up, they lived at their beautiful property where they began building a home in 1958, in Deer Harbor on Orcas Island. They loved their times with neighbors and friends, especially enjoying sitting on the deck sharing stories. They also welcomed friends and family as guests. You may have seen Tom on any summer day touring guests around the island highlighting island history as well as making stops at many businesses and restaurants. These tours became known as “Tomas Tours” and Tom took pride in being the tour guide. Tom is missed but will be remembered by all whose lives he touched.
Tom is survived by nieces Robin Plotnik (Darryll) and Susan Burget (Chuck) and their families. At Tom’s request, there will be a private family burial. Remembrances may be made to the Deer Harbor Community Club, the Kline Galland Home, or your favorite charity.