THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Issue Date: May 13, 2020
Thomas Pender, of Marinette, WI, passed away Tuesday, May 5, 2020 after a valiant six year battle with pancreatic cancer.
He is survived by Fay, his wife of 61 years; daughter, Penny (Jeff) Youniss; son, Patrick (Becky) Pender; grandchildren, Nicole, Matt and Lisa Backus, brothers-in-law, Len Mihalick and Peter VanBeek; sister-in-law, Sue VanBeek; nieces, Kim (Pat) Lee and Trina Hagemann and nephew, Mark VanBeek (Sarah).
Thomas was born August 31, 1935 in Marinette, WI, where he attended Lourdes High School and was a standout basketball player. He attended and played basketball for both Marquette University and UW Platteville where he received his degree. He married Fay VandeLaarschot on February 7, 1959. They resided in Milwaukee, Wi and later moved to Waukesha. He worked for 30 years as the Quality Control Manager for Wisconsin Centrifugal until his retirement in 1995.
Tom loved all sports, but his true passion was golf. He was one of the few people who could say he had nine hole-in-ones over the course of his golfing career. Upon retirement from Wisconsin Centrifugal, he and Fay moved to Shalamar Creek in Lakeland, FL, where they lived for 21 years. Most days he could be found on the golf course, at the clubhouse or just riding around in his golf cart to rehash the day's game.
In 2018, Tom and Fay decided to move back to his hometown of Marinette to be closer to friends and family and play at his favorite golf course - Little River Country Club.
"We will miss your dry sense of humor, unwavering calm in times of trouble, rock solid life advice and your ability to always see the positive in life. We will miss you greatly but know your job on Earth was done. We love you!"
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Helen Pender; sister, Patricia Mihalick; in-laws, Henry and Beatrice VandeLaarschot and son-in-law, Daniel Backus.
We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Sue and Peter VanBeek, Rich and Judy Podraza, Team Kuczer and John and Cindy Lowry for their unwavering devotion and friendship throughout the years and especially during Tom's cancer fight. Also Unity Hospice with special recognition going out to Sara, Dr. Stephanie and all the staff at Aurora Bay Area Cancer Center.
Due to the Coronavirus, a private funeral will be held for immediate family at Holy Spirit Church. There will be a Celebration of His Life held at Little River Country Club at a future date. Berth and Rosenthal Funeral Home of Peshtigo is assisting the family with arrangements.