Tom was born and raised in Hairy Hill, Alberta and attended the Alberta College of Art in Calgary. He studied Fine Arts at The Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, on an art scholarship. When he returned from Mexico, Tom resided in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. While in Toronto, he was represented by The Pollock Gallery. Tom was a business owner in St. Paul, Alberta from 1967 until his retirement and subsequent move to Edmonton in the summer of 2004.