Thomas Bast was born the second child to Karl and Lillian Bast in Mobridge, S.D. The family moved to Madison, Wis., in the 1950s. Tom eventually went on to study architecture and graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.
Upon graduation, Tom joined the Peace Corps in 1965 and served in Tunisia for two years. When his service ended, Tom returned to Madison and rekindled a romance with Maryann Elliott. The two were married in 1969.
Tom worked as an architect in Madison for many years until rheumatoid arthritis caused him to give up his career.
Despite RA, Tom found other ways to create art, transitioning from one medium to another as his condition required and imagination inspired. He worked in stained glass, pottery, photography and story-writing about his creations. Along the way, he adapted, seemingly cheerfully, from one phase to another.
In 2017, after spending extended periods of time on Whidbey Island, Wash., Tom and Maryann moved there to be closer to their eldest daughter and her family.
Tom and Maryann shared 52 years together. They enjoyed traveling the world, dancing and spending time with their daughters and grandchildren.
Tom passed away peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 11 after battling a brain tumor. He is survived by his wife Maryann; daughters Melinda Gardiner and Jessica Jordan; adopted granddaughter Denise Baker; and their spouses and children.