Thomas Richard Saari, born September 30, 1950, in Peterborough, son of George (deceased) and Daphne Saari of New Ipswich, passed away on July 28, 2020 after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He died in his Rindge home, surrounded by his loving family.
Tom exemplified the hard-working family man. Though he typified the stoic Finnish persona, he was quick to break that tough exterior to zing an unexpected, dry one-liner that would have the whole room roaring with laughter. Never one to use ten words when one would do, Tom was a great believer in actions speaking louder than words. Never did that shine more than with his family where his every action showed his deep love for his children, grandchildren, beloved wife, and his large extended family.
In August of 1970, he married Corrine Corliss of New Ipswich, his high-school sweetheart, life-long love and wife of 50 years.
As a young man, Tom began a long career in construction with Seppala and Aho. He would later become the Road Agent for New Ipswich, a position he held for many years, before striking out on his own business, Saari Excavating. He ran the business for more than 25 years, up until his death. The business will be carried on by his son and co-owner, Travis.
Tom expressed his competitive Saari spirit with basketball, snowmobiling, and coaching youth sports and volunteering with the Recreation Committee. One of his favorite sports was hockey, and he refused to hang up his skates until well past his 50s, skating with an Old Timers' League to keep his competitive edge. In his later years, he rediscovered a love for racing, getting behind the wheel and on the track for competitive Legend car racing. In 2019, in his final season and while battling cancer, he became the world champion for his age category in the sport, with his loyal pit crew and wife Corrine by his side.
The only thing that surpassed his love of anything with an engine, be it racecar or excavator, was his love for his family. Tom is survived by his five beloved children, Alison Saari of Pendleton, S.C., Chad Saari and wife Rebecca of Rindge, Travis Saari and wife Melissa of New Ipswich, Matti Saari and wife Michelle of New Ipswich, and Ashley Saari of Rindge. He was "Pop Pop" to 10 grandchildren, including Luke Stevens and wife Clarissa, Lacey Hannu and husband Andrew, Thomothy Saari, Jeno Saari, Paige Saari, Shayla Saari, Sebastian Saari, Hailey Saari, Emery Saari and Isaac Saari. He recently became a great-grandfather to Brayton Stevens.
Tom had 10 siblings, and is survived by Kenny Saari and wife Peggy of Rindge, Eileen Haavisto and husband Robert of New Ipswich, Charlie Saari and wife Kathie of New Ipswich, Walter Saari and wife Marion of New Ipswich, Beth Winegar and husband Mark of Landrum S.C., Helen Evans and husband Craig of Lakeworth, F.L., Margaret Fast and husband Gary of Monroe, W.A., and Christine Olson and husband Carl of Rindge. He is predeceased by brothers John and Eddie Saari.
A memorial service is planned to be held Sunday, August 2nd, at 3:00 p.m. at the Christian Outreach Church, 199 North Street, Rindge, NH 03461 where he was a member.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Christian Outreach Church building fund.