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Thomas Strawser


1934 - 2020
Thomas Strawser Obituary
Thomas Strawser

Greenwood - Thomas Strawser, age 85, of Greenwood, Indiana, passed away on January 10, 2020. Tom was born on July 13, 1934, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana to the late Robbie L. Koch.

Tom was a 1952 graduate of Fort Wayne Central High School. Tom began working in the railroad industry in 1952 as a baggage mail handler with Pennsylvania Railroad in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This spanned into a 38- year career with the railroad, moving his family from Fort Wayne to Columbus, Ohio, Greenwood, Indiana, St. Louis, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and finally retiring back in Greenwood as Supervisor of Train Operations.

Pennsylvania Railroad changed names several times throughout Tom's career, which lead to interesting opportunities for him. In 1962, when the railroad changed hands, Tom was loaned out to Freedom Corp. and assigned to computerize the railroad, training other employees on the computer. Tom was loaned out again in 1975, to the United States Railroad Association where he was put on a special project at Stanford University when six railroads merged to become Conrail Railroad. Tom prided himself on never asking someone else to do something that he couldn't or wouldn't do himself.

After retirement, Tom split his time between Nokomis, Florida, and Greenwood, Indiana. He loved playing golf, sitting on the beach, and acting in the occasional plays at the clubhouse. Tom was a member of Our Lady of the Greenwood Church since 1968 and was a lifetime member of Knights of Columbus Council #6138.

Tom is survived by his daughter Karen Dietz, her husband Hal and their children Derek (Natalie) and David and grandson Derek Jr. and granddaughter Avery: son Kevin Strawser, his wife Thesa and their children Matthew (Annie) and Michael and their grandchildren Jarrett, Madelynn, and Maevee: daughter Janet Kafoure and her husband Frank and their child Connor and daughter Sharon Birch and her husband Mike and their children Nicole, Nicholas, and Natalie.

Tom is preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Charlene (Dirig), brothers Robert Strawser, Joseph Strawser, sisters Lavina Williams, Betty Harding, and grandson Jack Kafoure.

We want to thank the caring staff of Paradigm Living Concepts, especially Adam, Coco, and Abigail, and ComForCare for the exceptional care Tom received.

A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted to celebrate his life.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Francis Convent of Mishawaka, Indiana (1515 West Dragoon Trail, Post Office Box 766, Mishawaka, Indiana 46546-0766).
Published in the The Indianapolis Star from Jan. 12 to Jan. 17, 2020
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