Tom Oar Obituary: The passing of Tom Oar, a renowned personality from the History Channel’s Mountain Men, marks the end of an era for fans who admired his rugged lifestyle in the remote Montana wilderness. In this tribute, we delve into the extraordinary life and enduring legacy of the mountain man who captured hearts with his survival skills, warm personality, and commitment to living off the land.
Tom Oar Early Life and Rodeo Career
Born in 1943 in Rockford, Illinois, Tom Oar inherited a passion for the Wild West from his father, Chike Oar, a performer in US Wild West Shows. Tom ventured into the rodeo circuit, dedicating 18 years to rodeo riding and 25 years to bucking horses. His reputation as one of the best in the business laid the foundation for a life-changing decision.
A Call to the Wilderness
Inspired by his grandfather, a fur trapper in the 1800s, Tom Oar chose to leave the rodeo behind and, in 1970, relocated to Montana’s Yaak River Valley with his wife, Nancy Oar. Embracing the challenge of a simpler life, they built a log cabin on vast, isolated land, setting the stage for almost five decades of self-sufficiency.
Living Off The Land
Tom and Nancy’s life in Montana epitomized self-reliance. Hunting, fishing, trapping, and tanning hides became essential skills for sustenance. The couple crafted shoes, hats, and more from leather, showcasing their creations online and at local markets. With solar panels for electricity and a wood stove for heating, they navigated the dangers of wildlife, harsh weather, and poachers, finding solace in the beauty of nature.
Mountain Men Fame
Tom Oar became a household name through the reality series Mountain Men, premiering on the History Channel in 2012. Viewers were captivated by the daily struggles and adventures of individuals living in America’s wilderness. Tom’s warm personality, love for family and animals, and survivalist skills made him a fan favorite across nine seasons until his retirement in 2020.
Retirement and Transition to Florida
Contemplating retirement due to advancing age, Tom and Nancy decided to permanently move to Florida in 2020, bidding farewell to their Montana home. The decision marked a transition from the rugged wilderness to a new chapter closer to family and warmer surroundings.
Tom Oar’s Legacy
Tom’s legacy extends beyond television fame. His net worth, estimated at $200 thousand, reflects earnings from his tanning and craftsmanship business and his role in Mountain Men. His custom-made knives found buyers online, contributing to his financial success.
Tom Oar Obituary
Tom Oar’s death on September 22, 2023, in Florida, surrounded by loved ones, marks the end of a remarkable journey. Despite health challenges, his spirit remained unbroken. Remembered as a loving husband, father, and grandfather, Tom’s legacy encompasses courage, resilience, creativity, and a commitment to a life close to nature.
In paying homage to Tom Oar, we celebrate a life lived on one’s terms, embracing challenges, and inspiring others to appreciate the beauty of simplicity. His impact reaches far beyond the small screen, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of family, fans, and fellow mountain men. As we bid farewell to this true pioneer, we honor the enduring legacy of Tom Oar, a man who epitomized the spirit of the untamed wilderness.
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