September 14, 2022
In loving memory ~
Tom Buri, KC, lawyer, writer, pioneer, mentor, father, grandfather and son of the late Russell and Maureen Buri died on September 14, 2022, at the Bulkley Lodge in Smithers, BC. He grew up in Detroit, MI, graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in English, and farmed in Vermont before homesteading near Telegraph Creek on the Stikine River in the early 70s. He and his family built a log house, traveled by dog sled in the winter and riverboat in the summer while learning traditional ways of living off the land from the Tahltan people.
In 1978, Tom and his family moved to Vancouver where he attended UBC Law School. When called to the bar in 1981, Tom moved north again with his family to Smithers where he opened his own law firm and practiced for 37 years. He helped organize the Friends of the Stikine Society to oppose BC Hydro’s plans to dam the Stikine River. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1993. Environmental and aboriginal law remained a special interest of his, both in his law practice and in his literary studies and writings in the history of northwest BC.
In Smithers, Tom lived on a farm in the Driftwood Valley. He was an active member of the community, supporting local causes such as One Sky and the Northwest Institute. He ran marathons in Smithers, Victoria, New York, and Boston and participated in local triathlons. He never missed an early bird workout or morning basketball at the high school. He was a supporter of the local arts and loved riding his bike up and down Main Street year-round. Driftwood Hall dances were among his highlights of the year, often arriving on horseback. At home, you would invariably find Tom tinkering in his workshop, drafting a poem in his study, or sitting by the fire pit on the ridge watching the sun set behind Hudson Bay Mountain. Above all, he loved his family and sharing his stories with others, and he put his heart and soul into his work and home. This is where he will always be.
Tom is survived by his children, Diana, Russell, Gregory, and Alex, his siblings Kay, Lynne and James, and grandchildren Tobias, Macy, Liza, Alden, Anton, Maria, James, and Alya.
From Tom’s children and his extended family, we love you and his spirit lives on in all of us. There will be a celebration of his life on August 5, 2023. All are welcome to attend.
Condolences may be offered at www.schraderfuneralhome.ca
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