One of the notable things about Thomas was how connected people felt to him. Lots of people. And not just on a superficial 'acquaintance' kind of level...many people felt Thomas' presence in their lives very intimately...even though they might never have met him. (Never let it be said you can't create a powerful coaching presence [and impact] through email and group teleseminars alone.)
It goes to follow that Thomas' death was also felt very personally.