We are very saddened to share the news that Thomas Fitches, long-time member and Chair of the Historic Organ Committee, has passed away.
The following is a message from The Rev. Andrew Federle, Rector of St. Clement's Church, Toronto, where Tom served as Music Director until 2015:
It is with sadness that I share with you news of the death of Tom Fitches.
I received word late this morning and have spoken personally with Tom’s family. Tom died at home, having felt unwell the last few days. Tom’s expressed wish was to be buried in the courtyard of St. Clement’s, and details regarding his funeral service will be shared widely once finalized.
Tom served St. Clement’s as Director of Music for 42 years, retiring in 2015. The bell in our belltower is named, “Faithful Tom,” for this man who embodied this particular fruit of the Spirit so wholeheartedly.
Despite a cancer diagnosis, Tom continued to serve, play, and teach in churches throughout the city, most recently at Grace Church on-the-Hill. Tom remained Organist Emeritus of St. Clement’s, joining us as recently as last summer for a month of Sundays.
The news of Tom’s death arrived on Ash Wednesday - a day on which our bodies are marked and our souls claimed: “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Yet even at the grave we make our song. We share with you Henry Purcell’s Hear my prayer, recorded live at our Ash Wednesday service yesterday evening. Dedicated to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Tom Fitches. (Link to video here)
Yours truly in Christ,
The Rev. Andrew Federle
St. Clement’s Church, Toronto