Tom Flemons raised his sail, tightened the sheet, and headed for the sunset November 4th, 2018 to explore what he once called “the really big tensegrity.”
Tom possessed an incessant drive to draw, sculpt, and create. For Tom, interdisciplinarity was a beautiful and effortless habit of mind, a boundless curiosity that happily roamed the universe, paired with the discipline to explore any subject he chose to an exacting degree, whether it was a meta-theory of the I Ching during his days at SFU, tensegrity (both in the abstract and as a mode of understanding living structures), or the microbiology that accompanied his illness. Whatever he undertook, he approached with the playfulness of a boy, the intellectual scope of a polymath, and the rigour of a scientist. What he leaves behind is a trove, or should we call it a tensegrity, of interconnected ideas and experiments, along with some five million human infants touched by his toy, the Skwish.
During the difficult months of his illness, he was lovingly supported by his community of friends on Salt Spring Island. He is survived by a devoted family-his wife, Jane Squier and family Kip (Lauren), Julia (Jeremiah), Anna (Doudou), and grandson Muabilay; his father, Don (Isabel), and brothers, Douglas (Shelley) and Ward; his nieces and nephews, Kristin, Eric, Fraser, Jenna, Lauren, Yohannes, and Faven; and his great grand nieces, Ava and Alyssa. He was pre-deceased by his mother, Elizabeth Jean.
Special thanks to Dr. Ron Reznick and the nurses and staff of Lady Minto Hospital for their outstanding care.
Tom’s legacy will live in the form of his toys, his contributions to bio-tensegrity and robotics design, and his company, Intension Designs. A permanent online archive is in development at http://intensiondesigns.ca/.
Donations in Tom’s name can be made to Coast Protectors British Columbia and the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation.
Please visit his online memorial site at: http://intensiondesigns.ca/remembering-tom/.