MOUNT HOREB - On Monday, Sept. 5, 2016, Tyler J. Oimoen, left those who loved, admired and respected him far too soon as a result of a fall while hiking with friends at Cascade Falls in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Tyler, "T.O." was born on June 27, 1995. He came into this world in a big way and continued to live large all his life.
T.O. was a young man of few words who let his actions do the talking. He never talked the talk unless he could walk the walk. Those that knew him knew that his quiet demeanor was just the surface. Tyler was a hilarious, fun and loving person. An avid music lover Tyler excelled at playing the drums, and taught himself guitar and ukulele. A man of strong faith, he never stopped believing there was a "Squatch" out in the Pacific North woods somewhere.
T.O. sought out challenge and adventure for himself always. He graduated from Mount Horeb High School in 2013, and went onto attend UW-Milwaukee for a year where he made the Dean's list and earned 41 credits. But college wasn't for him. He wanted to be in the military and following his dad and brother's footsteps enlisted in the United States Air Force in March, 2015. He was currently serving at Beale Air Force Base in northern California. T.O.'s professionalism and military bearing was recognized and earned him the Professional Performance Award - the first person ever from his squadron to do so with the board's decision being unanimous. He was to deploy to Africa in January. His goal was to become a "P.J." through the Air Force Pararescue Program (a U.S. Air Force Special Operations Combat Medic). He was extremely motivated to re-apply to the program this coming March. He was working out hard and it showed! He had become quite a beast of a guy! We all had every confidence that he would've become the "P.J." that he so aspired to be.
Tyler served his country and his community. He volunteered at the Mount Horeb Food Pantry, the River Food Pantry and attended a mission trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation through Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. He was deeply moved and affected by the poverty that he saw there. He also enjoyed working at Great Scotts Pizza, and travelling to Costa Rica, Belize and Guatemala in his high school years. He was quite fluent in Spanish!
T.O. had many friends who looked to him for acceptance, for support, for help, for honesty, and always for humor and a little fun. Tyler was fun to be around. He didn't light up a room, he made it a favorite place to be. To be around T.O. was to feel warmth and acceptance. He had a quiet confidence, and a powerful, yet kind and gentle spirit. He was loyal and committed to his friends, family and to his goals.
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T.O. was a natural athlete. He played many sports growing up in Mount Horeb, but he excelled at football. He was a force on the field and a leader in the locker room. He was respected by coaches, teammates, and opponents. He also played in band - often running out onto the field in his football uniform at half time to play the drums for the half-time show.
T.O. loved adventure and the outdoors. He loved fishing, swimming, wakeboarding, off-roading in his Jeep, hiking, snowboarding and riding his Harley. He spent a lot of time in the beautiful Lake Tahoe area not far from base when he was off duty. There he introduced snowboarding to some of his Air Force friends. They enjoyed hiking and swimming there, and it was there that he passed away, doing what he loved with good friends in the outdoors. Tyler was tenacious, resilient, strong, self-disciplined, smart, funny, courageous and caring. He sought out the best in himself and others. Our hearts are broken with his loss and we are left to carry on his spirit of kindness, acceptance of others, and being brave and confident enough to continue to seek out our meaning in life. He had many gifts, and gave them freely.
Tyler is survived by his mom, Janice; dad, John; brother, Jonson; grandparents, Jack and Mary Storer and a large, loving group of family and friends across the country.
The family will be attending a memorial service at Beale AFB in California on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, with full military honors.
In typical T.O. fashion, a casual celebration (tank tops and shorts boys…) of Tyler's life will be held on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at Tyler's home at 2 p.m. As part of the service we would love to have anyone that is willing and comfortable share stories or thoughts of T.O. Please no flowers - T.O. wasn't much of a flower guy! Memorials can be made to the Tyler Oimoen Memorial Fund from which we will make donations to various organizations, places and people that would have been meaningful to him.
We will forever miss that smile and laugh of yours. You had so much yet to give, so much yet to do. The pain of losing you is unbearable. Our hearts are forever broken. We love you T.O.