Thomas James Aylward IV, 76, of Boynton Beach, FL and previously New Canaan, CT, died peacefully at his home in Florida on May 6, 2020 following a brief bout with pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by his two children and granddaughter at the time of his death.
Born in Highland Park, IL, he was the eldest son of Thomas J. Aylward III and Jean (Morrissey) Aylward, Tom was raised in St. Charles, IL and Marshall, MI. A three-sport letterman at Marshall High School, Tom went on to attend Michigan State University (Class of '66). There he earned spots on the freshman football and basketball teams and was elected president of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. After graduating with honors, he was accepted into IBM's executive training program prior to enlisting in the United States Army. Lieutenant Aylward served two tours of combat duty in Vietnam earning the bronze star for valor among additional meritorious citations.
Upon completion of military service, Tom attended The University of Chicago where he earned his MBA. He was hired by JP Morgan & Company in New York holding a number of executive positions over a 30 plus year career. His rise at JP Morgan included a post in Seoul, South Korea where he served as head of the Far East Division.
In 1970, while at The University of Chicago, he met and married Karen McKenna from San Jose, CA, who was then a flight attendant with United Airlines. Upon joining JP Morgan, The Aylwards moved to New York City and eventually settled in New Canaan, CT where they lived for more than 40 years. The Aylwards were long-time members of the New Canaan Country Club as well as serving on various charitable organizations including the Knights of Malta, Communion for the Homebound, and Norwalk Community College.
The Aylwards later established roots in Boynton Beach, FL to be closer to their children and granddaughter. There they enjoyed membership at The St. Andrew's Club and attended St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Tom served on The Board of Trustees of the Help Our Wounded Foundation (HOW) of South Florida and made Boynton Beach his permanent residence following Karen's death.
In addition to his faith, Tom was most passionate about his family, his country, and all things related to Michigan State. Possessing a severe case of color blindness, he had a penchant for wearing mismatched color schemes that prompted many jokes amongst his family and friends.
Tom is preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Karen Aylward (d.2013). He is survived by his daughter Courtney Aylward, his son Thomas "Tucker", and his granddaughter Elizabeth "Lilly" Jean Aylward-Jahn, all of Boynton Beach, FL; his sisters Pamela (Aylward) Christianson of Southport, NC; Catherine (Aylward) Howard of Roseville, CA; Elizabeth (Aylward) Alexander of Spotsylvania, VA; and his brother Stephen of Malvern, PA.
Contributions may be made in his name to St. Aloysius Parish of New Canaan, CT, St. Thomas More Parish of Boynton Beach, FL, and the HOW Foundation of South Florida (Help Our Wounded).
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Published in The Palm Beach Post from May 14 to May 15, 2020.