Tom Dafoe lost his life in a tragic incident during the MayDay STOL at Wayne Municipal/Stan Morris Field in Wayne, Nebraska, on Friday May 20, 2022. Tom is survived by his wife, Rebecca and their five children, his son-in-law and his first grandchild.
In 2021, Dafoe joined jetAVIVA as a Sales Director after a nearly 20-year tenure with Cessna Aircraft Co. He was a passionate aviator and devoted his career to promoting general aviation. His absence will be felt throughout our industry.
Tom was an adventurer. Raised as a farmboy in North Dakota, he had a deep connection with the soil and loved making things grow. Working the fields in the Red River Valley, watching hawks soar and Grumman Agcats at work peaked his interest in aviation.
Although his collegiate studies began with classical piano performance studies, he redirected to aviation midway through his sophomore year. After learning to fly and earning his Airframe & Powerplant certificates, he went to work for Cessna Aircraft Co. where he spent 19 years at their Citation Service Centers, ultimately as General Manager of the Sacramento facility. Tom was best known for connecting with his customers, listening to their needs and always seeking solutions that were in his clients' best interests.
Tom's first professional foray into sales was representing the Cessna brand of Utility Turboprops for Textron Aviation in Western North America. It took only one flight in the Grand Caravan EX to fall head over heels for this rugged plane.
Farming almonds with his wife in northern California kept Tom grounded, despite his free spirit. And as the father of one (married) daughter and four rambunctious boys, life was pretty full. But when there was free time to be found, you could find Tom floatplane and tailwheel flying.