Thomas J. Smith, dog whisperer, biker and lover of all babies, died on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
Tom was a skilled diesel mechanic, a volunteer firefighter, and able to build or repair nearly anything. He excelled at making apple pies, playing poker and story-telling. He and his patient and loving wife, Darlene, spent nearly 30 years together, riding his Harley, watching Ghost Hunter and celebrating through life’s twists and turns. A man of contradictions, he was as comfortable holding his grand- and great-grandchildren as he was putting on a goalie mask, defending the net. He loved his family fiercely and taught his daughters to be brave, strong, self-reliant and grateful. No matter what, he always showed up.
In his later years, Tom could be found at the lake, boating, enjoying an Early Times and celebrating the (far too few, in his opinion) wins of the Cubs, Blackhawks and Bears. He took his fashion cues from no one, hated wearing socks and was most comfortable in an H-D t-shirt. If a dog was in the room, it was usually on his lap. He was larger than life, a loyal friend and will be greatly missed.
Tom is survived by his wife, Darlene, daughters and son-in-laws, Deborah Clements (Walt), Cheri Gabrielsen (Hal) and Jennifer Evenson (Dennis); his step-children PJ (Jennifer) Janis and Michelle (Andrew) Maxwell; his sister, Eileen Belbutowski; seventeen grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved boxer, Daisy.
Donations may be made in honor of his life to Beyond Hunger, 848 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60301 gobeyondhunger.org
Visitation Tuesday, July 6, 2021 from 3:00 pm until 9:00 pm at Sax-Tiedemann Funeral Home, 9568 Belmont Ave., Franklin Park.
Family and friends will gather at the funeral home on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 for prayers at 9:30 am.
Mass to follow at Holy Virgin Martyrs St. Beatrice and St Maria Goretti Church at 10:00 am.
For information, please call the funeral home at (847) 678-1950 or www.sax-tiedemann.com.