THOMAS J. PETERSON, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, surrounded by family and devoted friends he departed peacefully. "He was the husband of Carol, father of Dan, and friend of all he met." Born July 11, 1930, in Fort Wayne, he was a son of Paul and Florence. While Tom and Carol made their home in Bloomington to be near family, Tom was always a Fort Wayne man at heart. Throughout his life, he carried with him rewarding Fort Wayne friendships as he moved to North Palm Beach, Fla. and back to retirement in residences in Bloomington and on Lake Wawasee, a place that remained near and dear to both Carol and Tom throughout their lifetimes. Tom's devotion to learning was evident throughout his life and he had an insatiable appetite for books and newspapers. He attended Fort Wayne South Side High School, received a Bachelor's in Political Science from Wittenberg University, where he became a member of the Phi Gamma Delta family for life, and earned an MBA from Indiana University. In his retirement years, Tom never missed IU's Mini-University and audited classes on topics as far ranging as energy and global politics. He was a history buff, an armchair political analyst, and completed his goal to read at least one book on every U.S. president. After graduating from Wittenberg, Tom served in the Army during the Korean Conflict. He began his professional career with the National Bank of Detroit and continued in the financial services industry with Fort Wayne National and Lincoln National Banks. In a fortuitous turn of fate, a close friend connected Tom with a young Jack Nicklaus who was launching Golden Bear International. Tom spent the next 27 years serving in various capacities for the growing company including Treasurer and President. Tom was an AVID sports enthusiast. During his retirement years, a good day always included attendance at an IU sporting event: track and field, tennis, basketball, soccer, and football. His true passion, however, was baseball, college and MLB. He seldom missed an IU home baseball game and was honored to support the construction of Kaufman Field at IU. NEVER did he miss the Braves, the Yanks or Carol's Red Sox on television. For all his varied interests, nothing exceeded Tom's commitment to his family. Carol and Tom enjoyed nothing more than spending time with and devoting attention to family. Dan, Carol and Tom were a team and shared a particularly close relationship that never wavered over the years. The birth of their grandchildren, Anya and Markus, was clearly defined as the pinnacle of their lives. Later when Dan and Tina married, Tom and Carol embraced their step-grandchildren, Meghan and Rachel, with the same enthusiasm. "It was a big, happy family and Tom's pride in each person individually is a gift that will last forever." Tom was preceded in death by Carol in 2009. A celebration of Tom's life is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in the Solarium at Indiana Memorial Union. The family will greet guests beginning at 4 p.m. and the program will begin at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest gifts to either the Thomas J. Peterson Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County or the Thomas J. and Carol A. Peterson Graduate Fellowship at the IU Foundation. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.DayFuneralServices.com
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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Oct. 12, 2013