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Thomas J. Suddes


1949 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Thomas J. Suddes Obituary
Suddes Thomas J. Suddes, March 19, 1949 - September 26, 2016. Tom Suddes made a name for himself as a thought leader, motivator, master facilitator and trainer, engaging speaker and prolific writer. He achieved much and was most proud of being 'O.G.' and 'Dad' to his children and grandchildren and 'Coach' to the thousands of Notre Dame boxers and social entrepreneurs he mentored. One of Tom's favorite quotes about success, "Wealth is an abundance of things you value," best captures his infectious positivity, love of life, dedication to family and friends, and quest to leave the world a better place. He inspired many and embodied what it means to fully live, love, and give. Tom is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 46 years, Trudy (Kohlrus); children, Tom, Shannon, Kerry, Meghan and Taggart; sons and daughters-in-law, Elizabeth Parisian, Jason Heinlen, Chris Daly, Jon Cox, and Loren Suddes; grandchildren, Savannah, Keegan and Tatum Heinlen, Calvin and Thomas Parisian Suddes, Roscoe and Ella Jean Cox; siblings, Mike and Adele Suddes, Mary Ann and Kevin McCormick, John Suddes, Jim and Denise Suddes; aunt, Marilyn Bunn; countless cousins, nieces, and nephews; and hundreds of friends and colleagues who are family. He is the son of the late Jean Walsh Suddes and Thomas Edward Suddes of Springfield, IL. A serial entrepreneur since age 16, Tom founded 19 businesses and dedicated his life to helping thousands of individuals and organizations (social entrepreneurs, nonprofit, and for profit) find their purpose and make an impact on the world. His motivational messages have reached thousands around the globe. Tom graduated from Griffin High School in 1967 and the University of Notre Dame in 1971. He served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer, Airborne and Pathfinder, from '71-'73, and shortly after began his career in the Development Office at Notre Dame. He went on to found The Suddes Group (called the "Maverick Fundraising Firm" by Inc. Magazine) and raised over $1B for worthy organizations, including Battelle for Kids, Craig Hospital, and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. Through For Impact, he helped to transform the language and attitude of giving, and helped organizations raise another $1B to scale and grow their ability to save, change, and impact lives. In 1997, Tom won a trip around the world from Success Magazine to share his experience with Micro Entrepreneurs in developing countries. He was a two-time welterweight boxing champion at Notre Dame and was the boxing coach there for over 40 years. He returned every year for a six-week 'mini-sabbatical' to coach and referee the Bengal Bouts, which has raised over $1M for the Holy Cross Missions in Bangladesh. He was a Masters Ringside Boxing World Champion in 2012. He brought this fighting spirit to the bout of his life after being diagnosed with ALS in May 2014. He remained positive and used his mental toughness against this most challenging opponent. Throughout his crazy, eclectic, eccentric life, Tom was anchored by his family, the centerpiece of life, on his 50-acre farm, Eagle Creek. He was affectionately known as O.G. ('The Old Guy'), a name he gave himself when his first grandchild was born. To 'Live Like O.G.' is an aspiration and a reminder to: Believe that anything is possible. Live life fully - Every day. Give - Your love, spirit, time, energy, resources and counsel. Go on an adventure. Invest in experiences and people (over material possessions). Be a solution provider. Support and encourage those around you. Live a life that is creative, curious and fun. Leave a Legacy. In lieu of flowers, please #GiveLikeOG to the cause of your choice; two of Tom's favorites are The Star House and Notre Dame Boxing. Tom's life will be celebrated on the weekend of October 22, 2016. Please check www.forimpact.org/livelikeog for details. Arrangements by SCHOEDINGER WORTHINGTON CHAPEL, 6699 N. High St., Worthington, OH 43085.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Sept. 29 to Sept. 30, 2016
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