Thomas "Tom" Kyte

  • Thomas "Tom" Kyte 1932-2023

  •  Date of Death: November 20, 2023
  •  Location: Bathurst
  •  Funeral Information: December 08, 2023 at 02:00 PM in Elhatton Funeral Home Chapel

It is with profound sadness that the family of Thomas "Tom" Kyte announces his death on November 20, 2023 at home in Bathurst, NB at the age of 91.

One of Bathurst's most prominent citizens, Tom leaves behind his wife of 64 years, Yvette (nee Doiron-Gould), daughters Charlene (Fredericton) and Lisa - his angel - (Roch Boudreau), and grandchildren Ryan, Pamela and Jessica. Tom also leaves behind his brother Richard (Jan), his sister Peggy (Keith Davis) from Calgary, Alberta, his sister Mae (late Peter Madore) from Toronto, Ontario.

Tom is now reunited in heaven with his four children, Gerry, Michael, Tom Jr. (Ania Kyte) and Denise, his sisters Marie, Pat (George Martell), Karen (Gordie Crowell) and his brother Louis.

Tom's passing will be mourned by the many people whose lives he touched through his music and charitable work. He leaves behind a legacy of song rooted deeply in the community that will continue through "Friends in Song", the popular choir he established in Bathurst more than 40 years ago.

Born in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland in 1932 to a Lebanese immigrant father Isaac Kyte (Khayat) and Cape Breton born Rose Marie (nee Joseph) Kyte, Tom grew up in a small, but vibrant Arabic-speaking neighbourhood in Sydney with its own Maronite Catholic church at the centre of community life. It was there that Tom found his love of music.

As the eldest of eight children, Tom assumed the role of primary breadwinner when his father Isaac died in July 1950. Then only 18 years old, Tom abandoned his dreams of attending St. Francis Xavier University and went to work at the Sydney Steel Plant to support his mother and siblings, the youngest who was only three months old.

When the Steel Plant temporarily closed, Tom joined the military. Thus began a career in the Royal Canadian Air Force that saw Tom travel the world with 649 Squadron, whose function was to bring supplies to all the military bases and embassies around the world.

It was during one of those deliveries on Christmas Eve 1955 to the base at Goose Bay, Labrador, that Tom met his wife and life partner of 64 years, Yvette Doiron-Gould, a young Acadian woman from Amherst, Nova Scotia.

At the time Yvette was working at Goose Bay for the US Air Force representing Canada on the Joint Defense Program. As fate would have it, Yvette was invited to attend Midnight Mass in a hangar filled with US defence fighter planes. The holy ceremony was celebrated in front of an airplane and over in the corner was a good looking Royal Canadian Air Force man named Tom Kyte directing a choir of air force personnel assembled for the occasion. It was love at first sight.

It is no coincidence that Tom and Yvette met while he was directing a choir. Music was and continued to be a central part of Tom's life. From performer to choir director and even band master, music was the thread that bound him to his family, friends and community.

Tom and Yvette married in May 1959 and raised a family in CFB Trenton, Ontario. Over the next six years they had five children: Charlene, Denise, Tom, Michael and Gerry. Their last child, Lisa, was born in New Brunswick.

In the mid 1960s, Tom left the military to pursue a new career in NB’s booming mining industry, becoming one of a team of 14 specialists from around the world to work at the new Belledune Smelter. Tom worked at the Smelter for 28 years, providing a good living for his family all the while continuing to make music as choir director and band master.

With the children bussing long distances to school from Belledune every day, the family decided to move closer to the big city of Bathurst and in 1975 they settled into the brand new subdivision on Hennessy Street. Tom continued his former military career in Bathurst. In 1972, he became Captain of the 436 Air Cadet Sqdn. until 1986.

There began another chapter in Tom's life began when he became choir director at Holy Family Church and later, the director of "Friends in Song". It was his work with "Friends in Song" that shaped the future direction of his life and that of so many others who benefited from the thousands of dollars the group raised for charities, non-profit organizations, and individuals in need for more than 35 years.

As a community leader, talented musician and a loving family man, Tom's loss will be measured in countless ways by many people who will miss his sparkling blue eyes, beaming smile and wise counsel. None will miss him more than his wife Yvette, who has stood by his side since that fateful Christmas Eve so long ago.

I would like to add the following:

"Tom lived long, worked hard and loved deeply. He believed in peace and that true peace can only come from love. After 73 years as a music director, he left us a legacy of music and we will show our love for him by continuing to celebrate his passion for song. Tom passed the torch to the group, and we will carry on his musical journey.

Tom, you served your God and the people in your community. Your love of music will continue on in the hearts of the many people you touched.

My love for you will last forever. It is in my soul."

Visitation will take place on Thursday, December 7 from 7 to 9 pm at Elhatton's Funeral Home (, 187 St. George Street, Bathurst, NB. A celebration of Tom's life will be held at Elhatton's Chapel on Friday, December 8 at 2 pm.

In Tom’s memory, the family encourages donations to the charity of your choice.

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