Scottsdale Man Passes Away After Kayaking Accident


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A Scottsdale family is mourning the death of a beloved doctor, father and grandfather.

Dr. Thomas M. Bajo passed away after a kayaking accident in Rock Creek, Montana. The Scottsdale resident was visiting south-central Montana when his kayak capsized, causing him to hit his head on a rock and lose consciousness. A second kayaker was able to reach him, but could not get him back to shore. Bajo had kayaked that specific section of the river days before and he had more than 20 years of kayaking experience. He passed away the day before his 68th birthday.

In his obituary, his family and friends highlighted his love for life and making a difference. “The only things he loved more were his family and friends. His daughters, Hannah Calvis and Alyssa Bajo, were his purpose in life and in September 2015 his granddaughter Ellie renewed his reason for living.”

Bajo is survived by his children, son-in-law Tony, and siblings Joe, Jim, Pat, Bill, Carl, Kathleen, Tessa and Roxanne. In his obituary, his contributions to his community were also emphasized, “He was a renowned, respected physician and teacher. He was humble yet he saved many lives in his capacity as a critical care physician. He loved his work and the people he worked with at the medical facilities. He impacted many people’s lives in significant and meaningful ways and those memories will keep alive in their hearts.”

In honor of their beloved outdoor adventure enthusiast, Bajo will be remembered through donations in his name toFirst Descents, a charitable, nonprofit organization that provides cancer fighters and survivors with amazing outdoor trips. Donations can also be made to Team Tarkio Whitewater Adventures (Land and Erica Heflin, P.O. Box 3025 Missoula, Montana 59806).

To share condolences with his family, please visit the website of messinger mortuary. Read Bajo’s full obituary here. 

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I am a multimedia journalist and proud graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. I am originally from Minnesota, and I love learning about my second home, Arizona, and all of it's awesome communities through my contributions to My Local News! When I was a little girl, I created my own "newspaper" for my neighborhood and spent all my time writing, printing and sending each edition to my loyal subscribers (AKA my family and neighbors!). Now, it's a dream come true to be able to write everyday and have a positive impact on communities through my reporting. In my free time, I love to travel, hike, cook and spend time with my family and friends.
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