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Thomas Christian

Christian, Thomas

Thomas (Tom) J. Christian of Green Bay, WI, died Saturday, December 8th, from complications related to aplastic anemia. Tom was born on May 28, 1942, and raised in Coloma, the son of Loyal (Pat) and Marcella (Sal) Christian. He graduated from Westfield High School at the top of his class. Tom was elected class president and was a well rounded athlete competing and often setting records in football, baseball, basketball, and track. Upon graduation, he attended University of Wisconsin-Madison where his major of poker and beer did not lead to academic success. Once he became serious about his studies, he obtained a Bachelors in Economics from UW-Oshkosh in 1965. After working at Continental Bank in Chicago for several years, Tom returned to UW-Madison and earned a Masters in Finance.

Upon graduation,Tom worked as an auditor for Greyhound Bus and then Armor Foods which gave him the opportunity to travel the US and Canada. As he traveled, he carried his gear for fishing and hunting, passions his father had instilled in him at a young age. After many years on the road, his position at Armor led to a permanent position in Green Bay. On a Glendasprung Ski Club trip, he reconnected with Luann Schmalz, whom he first met while a student in Oshkosh. The two were married in 1977 and shortly thereafter moved to Florida where daughter Julie was born. An opportunity as Controller for Johnson Plastics brought them back to the midwest, where they settled in Eau Claire and had son Daniel. A similar position with Kasson Cheese moved the clan to Brillion. Tom was happiest developing proformas for new business ventures and always wanted to work for himself. Thus in 1983, Tom and Luann opened TLC Photo, a new concept in photofinishing, in Green Bay. Over their 17 years of business, they expanded to include a portrait studio and multiple locations.

During his time in Green Bay, Tom was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, Ducks Unlimited, and Trout Unlimited. He also belonged to the Loyal Order of the Moose where he served on the board in several positions and upon retirement, played poker every Wednesday--when he wasn't busy reading or doing a sudoku puzzle. As a father and husband, Tom shared his enthusiasm for outdoor sports and travel, leading to many downhill ski trips, summer vacations around the country, fishing outings, and hunting trips. Once Julie and Dan moved away from home, he and Luann took many extended road trips under the pretense of visiting them. Their most recent trip was in October to New Mexico to celebrate the marriage of Julie and Paul.

Tom is survived by his wife Luann; daughter Julie Christian and son-in-law Paul Heiberger of Las Cruces; and son Dr. Daniel Christian, daughter-in-law Cori Christian, and granddaughters Carley and Allison of Kenosha, WI.

A gathering for family and friends will be held on Thursday, December 13th, starting at 3:30 followed by a Memorial at 5:30. All events will be held at The Ravine, 2633 Manitowoc Road, Bellevue.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, please donate in Tom's memory to The Green Bay chapters of either: Trout Unlimited or Moose Lodge 801.

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Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Dec. 12, 2012
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