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Tom Oar Obituary: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of a Mountain Man

Tom Oar Obituary

Tom Oar, renowned for his rugged lifestyle and starring role in the History Channel’s reality series “Mountain Men,” passed away on September 22, 2023, in Florida. 

At the age of 79, Oar left behind a legacy marked by a profound connection with nature and a life lived on his own terms. 

This article explores his birth, family, lifestyle, net worth, hobbies, and various facets of his extraordinary life.

Tom Oar Obituary Early Life and Family

Tom Oar Obituary
Tom Oar Obituary

Birth and Childhood

Tom Oar was born in 1943 in Rockford, Illinois. His early years were significantly influenced by his father, Chike Oar, who was a performer in the Wild West shows of the 1980s and early 1990s. 

Growing up surrounded by tales of cowboys and rodeo champions, Tom naturally gravitated toward a life of adventure and skill in the rodeo arena.

Family Background

Tom’s father, Chike Oar, was a prominent figure in the Wild West shows, which celebrated the rugged, adventurous spirit of the American frontier. 

This environment instilled in Tom a deep appreciation for the cowboy lifestyle and the values of self-reliance and resilience. 

He also had a brother named Jack, who followed a similar path, becoming a rodeo rider himself.

Rodeo Career

Early Career in Rodeo

Inspired by his father, Tom Oar embarked on a career in rodeo riding. He joined the rodeo circuit and quickly established himself as one of the best bronco riders in the country. 

Over the course of 18 years, Tom earned acclaim and respect for his skill and dedication, winning several championships and awards.

Transition from Rodeo to Wilderness

After nearly two decades in the rodeo, Tom felt a pull towards a simpler, more authentic life. In 1970, he decided to leave the rodeo behind and pursue a life in the wilderness, inspired by his fur-trapper grandfather and his own love for nature and history.

Life in the Wilderness

Tom Oar Obituary
Tom Oar Obituary

Move to Montana

In 1970, Tom and his wife Nancy moved to the Yaak River Valley in northwestern Montana. 

There, they built a log cabin by themselves, without any modern amenities or utilities. This move marked the beginning of a life dictated by the rhythms of the wild.

Self-Sufficient Lifestyle

Living in Montana, Tom and Nancy embraced a self-sufficient lifestyle. They hunted, fished, and trapped for sustenance, using the resources of their environment to meet their needs. 

The couple also crafted various items from leather, such as shoes, hats, bags, and knives, which they sold online and at local markets.

Challenges and Solace

Life in the wilderness was not without its challenges. Tom and Nancy faced harsh weather, isolation, and the constant threat from wildlife. 

However, they found solace in the untouched beauty of their surroundings and the fulfillment that came from living in harmony with nature.

Mountain Men Fame

Joining the Cast of Mountain Men

Tom Oar’s life in the wilderness caught the attention of the History Channel, which invited him to join the cast of “Mountain Men” in 2012. 

The show follows the daily struggles and adventures of individuals living in remote and rugged areas of America, such as Alaska, North Carolina, and Montana.

Becoming a Fan Favorite

Tom quickly became a fan favorite for his warm personality, love for his family, and impressive survival skills. 

He shared his knowledge and wisdom about living in the wild, as well as his stories and anecdotes from his past. 

Over nine seasons, viewers came to admire Tom for his authenticity and his dedication to a life off the grid.

Retirement and Final Years

Tom Oar Obituary
Tom Oar Obituary

Health Challenges and Retirement

As Tom grew older, he began facing health challenges, including a heart condition that required medication. 

The harsh environment of Montana became increasingly difficult to manage, prompting Tom and Nancy to consider a quieter life closer to family.

Move to Florida

In 2020, Tom and Nancy moved to Florida, where they had a second residence. This move allowed them to be closer to their son Chad and his family, and to enjoy a warmer, more comfortable climate. 

Despite the move, Tom’s connection to Montana remained strong, and he often spoke fondly of his years in the wilderness.

Passing and Legacy

Tom Oar passed away peacefully on September 22, 2023, at his home in Florida, surrounded by his loved ones. 

His passing marked the end of a remarkable journey that touched many lives. Tom’s ashes were scattered in Montana, as per his wishes, ensuring that his spirit remained connected to the land he loved.

Net Worth and Financial Legacy

Tom Oar Obituary
Tom Oar Obituary

Estimated Net Worth

At the time of his passing, Tom Oar’s net worth was estimated to be around $200,000. This wealth was primarily accrued through his craft, selling handmade leather goods, and his television appearances on “Mountain Men.”

Beyond Material Wealth

While his financial legacy may not seem vast, Tom’s life was rich in experiences and values. 

His story of courage, resilience, and a profound bond with nature continues to inspire those who seek a life less ordinary. 

Tom’s legacy extends far beyond material wealth, reflecting his dedication to living authentically and passionately.

Hobbies and Interests


One of Tom’s notable hobbies was crafting leather goods. This skill, passed down through generations, allowed Tom to create a variety of items, from practical gear to decorative pieces. His craftsmanship was highly regarded, and his products were sought after by many.

Connection with Nature

Tom’s love for nature was evident in all aspects of his life. Whether it was hunting, fishing, or simply spending time in the wilderness, Tom found joy and fulfillment in the natural world. This deep connection with nature was a central theme in his life and work.

Sharing Knowledge

Throughout his life, Tom was dedicated to sharing his knowledge and skills with others. Whether through his television appearances or personal interactions, he took great pride in educating others about living in harmony with nature and preserving traditional skills.


Tom Oar’s life was a testament to the spirit of the American frontier. From his early years in Illinois to his rodeo career and his decades in the Montana wilderness, Tom lived a life defined by adventure, resilience, and a deep connection to nature. 

His fame on “Mountain Men” brought his story to a wider audience, inspiring many with his dedication to a life lived on his own terms.

In his final years, Tom found peace and comfort surrounded by family in Florida, but his heart remained in the wilderness of Montana. 

His legacy, marked by his love for nature, craftsmanship, and the cowboy spirit, continues to inspire and resonate with many. Tom Oar will be remembered as a true mountain man, a legend of the Wild West, and a role model for generations to come.


What happened to Tom Oar Obituary?

Tom Oar, the beloved star of “Mountain Men,” passed away on September 22, 2023, at his home in Florida, surrounded by his family​​.

Did Tom and Nancy Oar move to Florida?

Yes, Tom and Nancy Oar moved to Florida in 2020 to be closer to their family and enjoy a warmer climate due to Tom’s health issues​​

How old is Tom on Mountain Men?

Tom Oar was 69 years old when he first appeared on “Mountain Men” in 2012. He was 77 years old when he retired from the show in 2020​​.

How many acres does Tom Oar Obituary have?

The exact number of acres Tom Oar owned in Montana is not publicly specified, but he lived on a substantial piece of land in the Yaak River Valley for almost five decades​​.

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