Thomas Kenneth Moore, the third of five children of Raymond and Frances (nee Grabowski) Moore, was born on November 5, 1939 in Chicago, IL. He resided in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago where his mother’s family owned and operated a neighborhood grocery store, and his father owned a small insurance business. His father was of Irish descent, while his mother was of Polish descent. His mother was one of 10 children and the only one of the siblings to have children of her own, thus Tom grew up with many doting aunts and uncles who heavily influenced his upbringing.
He was the loving brother of Luellen (Pete) Boland, and Dave (Kris) Moore, and the brother-in-law of Barbara Moore (Gene). He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Frances (nee Grabowski) Moore, brothers, Raymond and John, and nephew, Johnny.
Tom attended St. Mary of Perpetual Help School in Bridgeport, though he never went to kindergarten; he would often jokingly blame his lack of kindergarten education for any mishaps or misunderstandings. After graduation from grammar school, Tom attended high school at De La Salle Institute on the South Side of Chicago, which led into his jokes about having been “institutionalized” at a very young age. He occasionally mentioned he was still waiting for his diploma from HKU (Hard Knocks University) in the mail.
A true Southsider and lifelong White Sox fan, Tom maintained that a perfect day was one in which the Sox won and the Cubs lost.
As a young man, Tom met Karen Killham (by “accidentally” leaving his hat behind in church for Karen to find and return), whose family lived about a mile north of Tom’s in Bridgeport. In 1966, the pair married at St. Mary of Perpetual Help where they had both been baptized and attended grammar school. They moved to Park Ridge and lived in an apartment above Ryan-Parke Funeral Home. Tom and Karen had two daughters – Colleen (b. 1967) and Julie (b. 1969) – and moved into their own home just under a mile away on Gillick Street. Both from churchgoing Catholic families, Tom and Karen became active members of Mary, Seat of Wisdom parish in Park Ridge where they cultivated friendships that continue today.
An esteemed funeral director for over 50 years, Tom took humble pride in his vocation. With his hands-on approach and unassuming nature, he comforted hundreds of grieving families. After graduating from Worsham School of Mortuary Science, Tom worked at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home. He began his own business and eventually owned two funeral homes, Moore Funeral Home and Moore-Roberts Funeral Home, both located in Bridgeport. He spent considerable time caring for the women of the Felician Sisters Convent in Chicago. He was honored to have witnessed several younger men from his family pursue careers in the same profession and took great joy in knowing he had been a role model for them.
Both Colleen and Julie married and had their own children, blessing Tom and Karen with five grandchildren. The cherished Papa and Nana played exceedingly active roles in the lives of their grandkids and even ran full-time “daycare” for them before they reached school age. Nana kept the order, and Papa let the kids make breakfast while sitting on the counter, slide down the bannister in the living room, and come home from the park in soaking wet clothes simply because the sprinklers were on. His lightheartedness, patience, and sense of humor made him the favorite playground partner, waterslide buddy, and skinny dipping supervisor. But despite his reputation as a playful instigator, he instilled in his grandchildren the importance of manners and respect as he often brought them along when he had to go to work.
After losing Karen to pancreatic cancer in 2004, Tom stayed as involved as ever in the lives of his children and grandchildren. Papa logged thousands of miles attending virtually every game and performance his grandchildren had. He never missed a milestone event, and was a favorite attendee at birthdays, First Communions, graduations, and engagements. As his grandchildren matured, Papa assumed a new role of “chaperoning” the social scene with his young adult grandchildren, where it took him time to accept the grandkids beating him at his own game of slyly picking up the tab.
Tom was approximately five years old when he first went up to Powers Lake, WI, where his family originally stayed in the San-Scan cottages. In 1948, Tom’s grandfather, John Grabowski, purchased a home on Powers Lake, a place that became highly interwoven in the fabric of Tom’s life and the lives of all his family members.
With expanding families and limited bed (and floor) space in his family’s lake house, Tom and Karen purchased their own home in Powers Lake in the late 90’s; the new home was just up the road from the family house and brought Tom into the Horseshoe community. As a deeply rooted family man, branching out and leaving behind the familiarity of his grandfather’s summer home was difficult, but his new lake house offered the opportunity for his wife, children, and grandchildren to create decades of fond memories without losing touch with the history that brought them there. It also gave Tom the chance to form new and lifelong friendships among those in the Horseshoe community, where his background as a true Powers Lake old-timer made him a revered cocktail party host with stories never in short supply. He also took his role as Powers Lake Path Patrolman quite seriously.
He eventually sold his home in Park Ridge and became a full-time resident of Powers Lake. Tom patronized many bars in Twin Lakes, but he first found his niche at Mad Dan’s and branched out to become a fixture at The Pink House and Wild Child’s as well. He is the inventor and patent holder of The Trifecta, which involves visiting all three of those establishments in one night.
A loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, Tom left an impact among all with his sense of humor, knack for storytelling, quiet leadership, and loving presence.
Visitation Saturday, Jan. 8, 3-8 p.m. at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home,120 S. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge and Sunday, Jan. 9, 3-8 p.m. at Haase-Lockwood Funeral Home, 620 Legion Dr., Twin Lakes, WI. Funeral Monday, 10 a.m. from Haase-Lockwood Funeral Home to St. Francis de Sales Church, 148 W. Main St., Lake Geneva, WI. Mass 11 a.m. ( can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEvvTuin6lU) Interment St. John Cemetery, Twin lakes, WI. Tom generously supported CURE Epilepsy (www.CUREepilepsy.org) and H2O Adaptive Sports,( www.h2oAdaptiveSports.com), and donations in his name are welcome.