Customers to Uncle Tom’s Kwik Stop in Pine will no longer see its founder, Tom Weeks, sitting on the bench outside with his dog Abe.
“He would sit out there with his dog on the bench and talk to people. He had his dog Abe all the time,” said Jessica Barnett, one of his two daughters.
Barnett said he met so many people this way. Barnett, her mother and sister have been overwhelmed by the number of people who responded to the news of Weeks’ passing on Sunday, Oct. 28. Barnett said services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pine.
Barnett said her family has heard many of these friends of her father’s plan on attending the services.
“I told my mom, ‘Every person who comes, they knew my dad. We might not know them, but they knew him,’” she said.
For almost four decades Weeks ran Pine Ice and Uncle Tom’s Kwik Stop in Pine.
“We started Pine Ice out of our garage in the early ’80s with an old ice machine and a pickup truck with my sister and I doing deliveries after school,” said Barnett.
She said her father was the consummate entrepreneur, running a spa (Jacuzzi) and wood-burning stove business before starting the Pine Ice Company, which he expanded to include a convenience store and then the gas station.
Barnett said the ice company now delivers as far south as San Carlos and up to Flagstaff. In the summer, ice is delivered out to New Mexico and up to Colorado.
Weeks was no stranger to challenges. Barnett said when he was born in 1946; he and his twin brother were preemie babies.
“My grandmother put them in a cigarette carton with a light bulb,” she said.
Then, when he was 17, Barnette said he suffered third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body.
Weeks’ ability to overcome difficulties served him well during his community work.
Weeks sat on numerous boards during his years in Pine including the Pine-Strawberry School District board, the Pine-Strawberry Fire District board and the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board.
While on the school board, Weeks shepherded the building of the new school building.
He weathered the start of the water district purchase and incorporation, then the alleged embezzlement by Rebecca Sigeti and conflict of interest by Mike Greer.
“He always took the high road,” said Barnett.
Pine resident Ric Hawthorn agreed with Barnett when he wrote about Weeks on Facebook.
“Tom Weeks ... Uncle Tom to many of us ... one of the BEST Men I have EVER met in my life. Kind. Honest. Sincere. Strong Giving ... is gone far too soon,” wrote Hawthorn.