LEWISTON – Thomas “Tomba” A. Croteau, 27, ended his life-long battle with muscular dystrophy on Saturday, April 1, at his home with his family by his side.

He was born June 15, 1978, to proud parents Paul and Jayne Croteau in Wurzburg, Germany, during his father’s career as an infantry sergeant in the U.S. Army. The family moved back to Maine, settling in Medway, after his father honorably completed his military commitment. After spending several years in Medway, the family moved to Lewiston, where Tom was educated in the Lewiston school system, graduating from Lewiston High School, Class of 1997.

Tom spent the last 25 years battling the disabilities associated with muscular dystrophy. His extraordinary ability and strength defying the disease’s averages always astonished the experts, but was not surprising to those who new him. His strength and determination was drawn from his parents’ commitment to help him battle the disease. That unconditional love and support enabled Tom to focus his energy on the battle he waged daily.

After his mother’s untimely death, his father cared for Tom, providing the love, support and care, helping Tom get through his daily struggles. His strength and determination was amplified with the love and inspiration of his late grandparents, Barbara and Michael Goff, many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Those who knew him were awed by his ability to maintain such a positive attitude throughout his ordeal, while his quick wit and intellect made him a wonderful conversationalist. His greatest joys were using his computer, the constant love and companionship of his dogs, Shadow and Cheyenne, and his cats, Loki and Harley, his best friends, Dwayne Landry, Chris Fournier and Matt Jacques, and the large family gatherings celebrating holidays.

Tom was fortunate to have befriended his wonderful personal care assistant, Ruth Slattery, and his stepmom, Jill, who have been instrumental in maintaining his strength and comfort. Tom was a remarkable person whose strength and determination throughout his life was always an inspiration. He will be missed.

He leaves behind his father, Paul, and stepmother, Jill; a stepsister, Jamie Thompson; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.