Thomas F. Boerwinkle
1945 - 2013
August 23, 1945
March 26, 2013
Thomas F. Boerwinkle, age 67, at peace in Heaven March 26, 2013. Tom was born in Independence, Ohio to John G. and Katherine M. Boerwinkle on August 23, 1945. Loving husband of Linda F. Boerwinkle (nee: Ferguson) for 41 years. Loving father of Gretchen and Jeffrey Boerwinkle. Dear brother of Jay (Diane) Boerwinkle and Kaye (Richard) Kessler. Fond uncle of many nieces and nephews and friend to many. Memorial visitation Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 10:00 am until time of Memorial Service 12-Noon at Christian Church of Clarendon Hills, 5750 Holmes Avenue, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tom's memory to Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation 100 Park Avenue, Suite 108; Rockville, MD 20850 ( or Special Olympics Illinois 605 E. Willow Street; Normal, IL 61761 ( would be very appreciated. Service information: Adolf Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Ltd. - Willowbrook 630-325-2300 or

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Published by Chicago Tribune on Mar. 31, 2013.
10:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.
Christian Church of Clarendon Hills
5750 Holmes Avenue, Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Memorial service
Christian Church of Clarendon Hills
5750 Holmes Avenue, Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Funeral services provided by:
Adolf Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Ltd.
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79 Entries
Valenda Newell
November 7, 2016
I knew Tom at the University of Tennessee when he dated a friend of mine. He was 7 ft 1/4 in and I was 4 ft 10 in. He was a terrific person. A good friend. Obviously a fantastic basketball star, but to me a good friend.
Gwendolyn Shamblin
March 19, 2014
I knew Tom from his days at Olympic Oil in Chicago. Despite being a hero in Chicago, he made others feel like they were the special ones. Warm, humble, quiet, funny - the kind of guy you'd want to be your friend. It is great to see so many others note that they remember him fondly for more than his basketball exploits.
Gary Babic
November 2, 2013
I well remember Tom's playing days in the NBA. Sad to know that he has passed away.
October 9, 2013
Remember Tom at UT in 1966 when I served as manager for the basketball team. He always treated everyone well.
Robert Beightol
July 31, 2013
Frances Young
June 24, 2013
I will never forget the gentle giant marching next to the shortest guy in B Company at MMI. Watching him bloom playing basketball was such a treat. God bless and comfort all of his family and friends. Mary Jo Shannon
May 4, 2013
My husband and I would attend the Bulls game and Boerinkle was one of our favorite players. Its something how you always have your favorite plavers and he was one of ours. May he sleep in peace.
April 15, 2013
Tom was a great guy. Got to know him as Chief Big Oak in our YMCA INdian Guides troup when my son Barry and your son Jeff were in the tribe together in Northbrook. My best to all
Arno Filerman
April 11, 2013
Tom was a fabulous man. I met him through his business, Olympic Oil, and will never forget the first time he proudly gave me a tour while he ducked his tall frame under all the doorways. Tom was a most caring and generous man, always with a smile on his face. He was there in the good and the bad times to support everyone he knew. One time we were attending a game at the joint suite my company shared with his at the United Center, entertaining a customer from South Africa. My ticket, and this gentleman's was not stamped when we first walked into the suite floor. During an intermission, when I was showing this guest around, we returned to the floor to be told we couldn't enter as our tickets had not been stamped. The ushers wouldn't believe us that they had neglected to do so. I called into the suite and Tom came out to our rescue, convincing the ushers, in his gentle, calm manner, that we were legitimate ticket holders. His demeanor helped win them over. I have a 1998 photo at a formal event of myself and another colleague standing on chairs next to Tom who was standing. He was still taller than us. I will always remember him with fondness and give my deepest condolences to his family.
Beryl Cook
April 5, 2013
God Bless You
Lester McClain
April 5, 2013
Tom was more than a "gentle giant" as the editorials stated. He was a most humane, caring and dedicated person, who did so much for the community at large as well as
his family I knew him first as a Celebrity coach for our Special Olympics and he came out regularly to
support this program, coach our athletes and also attend our fundraisers. When he said he would help, he meant it. I also got to see him at other functions and meet Linda,
and every exchange was always warm and memorable. His life took him in many directions, and although we would see each other at Bulls events, as we have both been involved with the Bulls organization, I'm a midget in effort and stature compared to this wonderful man. So I was heartbroken to learn he has left us, although I know he's still shooting
baskets with the best of those sport stars who already left us. And I know he has a special place in that great beyond, where there is no pain - rather lots of beauty, laughter, love and peace. However, we will miss you on this earth Tom. My prayers and good thoughts also go out to his wife and family. Fondly, Barbara Lee Cohen
Barbara Lee Cohen
April 5, 2013
So sorry for your loss. Great memories of Tom at UT. Would come by my room, knock on the door, say lets go. I would always ask, what you want me to do? He would say, THROW ME THE BALL AND GET OUT OF THE WAY.. May God comfort you and your family.
Jimmy Thomas
April 3, 2013
Our deepest sympathy to all of the family, we pray for comfort as well as the embrace of your church family & especially from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sincerely Mike & Rosalie Mensinga
Michael Mensinga
April 1, 2013
So very sorry to hear of Tom Boerwinkle's death. I just turned 64 on 01 02 49 and 67 is too young to go.
He was very hard working at rebounding and blocking out a big body that could battle even Wilt to a good degree and along with Wilt and Walton -one of the best passing centers ever.
My best to his loved ones and fans left behind...
Twilight Zone
April 1, 2013
My condolences to the Boerwinkle Family, may the God of tender mercy give your family comfort as you cope with the loss of your loved one. May you also find comfort in the "hearer of prayers"(Psalms 65:2)
March 31, 2013
Dearest Boerwinkle Family, May you know that we mourn the loss of your Tom and send our sincerest condolences to you all. One fond memory: when Tom was an analyst for the Bulls in the early 1990's, my husband happened upon Tom at Union Station. My husband was carrying a rug, wrapped in brown paper, which he had purchased from Marshall Field's. He waited until Tom got off a pay phone (no cell phones back then)and then asked Tom if he would please sign the wrapper for his "son" Rob. Rob was actually my husband's uncle (now age 92) who was a huge fan of the the Bulls. Tom graciously did so. That signature with "to Rob" was given to Rob at Christmas. We are so very sorry for the loss of a great guy.
Jim and Judy
March 31, 2013
It is truly difficult to lose a loved one in death. As a source of comfort, rely on the great memories shared by family and friends as well as fans. Remember too that God is here to lean on and to comfort you.
March 31, 2013
May you be comforted by our God above,may He open his hand and give you the comfort that you sorry for your loss.....~~d~
March 30, 2013
My deepest sympathy to the Boerwinkle family and friends. May the true God be of some comfort to you. (John 5:25)
Solomon Y.
March 30, 2013
My deepest sympathies. May the "God of all comfort," help to ease the pain of your grief during this time.(1 Cor 1:3,4)
March 30, 2013
I worked for Tom for 10 years at Olympic Oil, he was the most generous and humble man I have ever known. My deepest sympathies to Linda,Jeff and Gretchen. I considered Tom a good friend of mine and he will be deeply missed. Safer trip # 18
Mike Piazza
March 30, 2013
michelle plakas-kaiser
March 30, 2013
March 30, 2013
Dear Linda, Gretchen, and Jeff,

Our deepest sympathies, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Karey and Geoff McGowan
March 30, 2013
Our deepest and sincere condolences to the family of former Bull's player, Boerwinkle.. With the team saying how nice of a guy he was, may the family reflect on this and also Matt. 5:28, 29. Again, our condolences.

The Hunts Family
West Palm Beach, Florida
March 30, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
March 30, 2013
Dear Linda, Jeff and Gretchen,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers this holy week/weekend. May God's grace and peace be with you always.
Steve Foster
March 30, 2013
A kind and beautiful person inside and out. He will be remembered not just for what he accomplished in the NBA but also the generous person he was. As he sleeps in death, may God remember him on the day of resurrection to life on a beautiful paradise earth.
March 30, 2013
My deepest sympathy to the family. May
God bless you.
March 30, 2013
In reading about Mr. Boerwinkle, I notice that he really left a wonderful legacy. May your family find courage and strength as you reflect on the loving memories. 2 Corinthian 4:7
March 30, 2013
So sorry for your loss. May you have peace and look to the future with hope and confidence when no mourning or outcry or pain will be no more...
March 29, 2013
You never met me but you were and are still an inspiration.Rest In Peace.
March 29, 2013
I am so sorry for your loss but the Bible says that we can see our dead love one again. Found at 21:4. I hope this message is comforting for you and your family.
March 29, 2013
GOOD FRIDAY EVENING! So many wonderful memories of the "little" boy next door who grew to be so big in all the best ways. He and his family have always set the benchmark of what a loving,Christian family should be, plus the best neighbors. I too attended that Christian camp with Tommy, Kay and Jay and was part of growing up in that wonderful place, Independence, Ohio. We discovered what it meant to believe in Jesus and hold on to his words, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled." Tommy did RUN the race as St Paul describes it
You are all in my thoughts and prayers! TOM SLUBERSKI
Thomas Sluberski
March 29, 2013
We are sad to have read of your loss. God will soon give our love ones life. John 17:3
March 29, 2013
Dear Gretchen and family. I wish I could take away your heartache. He was so generous and kind to take time out of his schedule to attend the Men's Breakfasts we did so long ago. It was much appreciated by me. Warren and the guys really enjoyed it. Please know you're in my thoughts and prayers. If I'm not able to offer condolences in person, I'm sending you a big hug and think the world of ya. Hang in there. Sincerely,
Colleen P
March 29, 2013
The best neighbor ever. I remember you coming over to help scrawny me with our push lawnmower. You did several passes and said "See, nothing wrong with it!" And did I really do this, sit on a piec of plywood while you ran your bike up and down the drive to flatten the snow? What a role model. And Nancy (Lee) my sister. How she loved you. Throwing stones in the creek at the bottom of the hill, shooting baskets. Don't know if it was genetic or your friendly nature that turned her into a tomboy. I have lost in a just a few years two of the most wonderful people in my life. My sister and you. A push mower will never be the same. Hope God doesn't mind someone looking down on him. Say hi to your mom for me.
March 29, 2013
My family lived next door to the Boerwinkles in Independence through the 50's and 60's. When Tommy left for MMI, half the sunshine went with him. My memories are of watching my sister and Tommy throw nimbly peg in the back yard, watching an incipient giant gulp down a whole carton of milk, laughing at his silly riddles, wishing I could go fishing, too, and knowing that every one of the Boerwinkles loved me and that Tom and his family were the special kinds of friends who accepted without judgment and loved with grace. As we mourn his loss, let us capture the sunshine of his memory in our hearts and actions.
Linda Cznadel Hauck
March 29, 2013
Never meet you but heard very nice things from my neighbor, Lucille, You used to own my house on Little Silver Lake, God Bless !
Gayle Zibble
March 29, 2013
Haven't seen you in years, that's my loss, still recall going to the drive-in church and putting the speaker in the car and turning it off and turning on WIXI 1260. Will miss you big man.
Gary Meers
March 29, 2013
a true boyhood hero of mine I will not soon forget
March 29, 2013
I remember Tom as a child having spent many Sunday's in their home. Tommy was the "little" brother. He did a lot of joking and teasing. He will be remembered in our hearts. Yes, he was a gentle giant. May God comfort your family in your loss. Love and prayers,
Nancy and Ken
March 29, 2013
Very sorry to hear of Tom's passing. He was one of my favorite players back when I was in high school and college back in the early seventies. Peace to his family. Gary Tancredi
March 29, 2013
Im so sorry for your loss family and friends of Tom Boerwinkle and may you find comfort in Gods inspired word the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).
March 29, 2013
Offering my deepest condolences during this difficult time, I'm so very sorry for your loss, death is something we are never prepared for, but please find comfort in knowing sickness, pain and death will one day be no more. For God has promised.
March 29, 2013
I remember Tom growing up and how proud his Mother was of him. He was a great person. Loved seeing him when he came to visit his mother. He was a very gracious and loving person. He will be missed by all.
Kathleen Kasperski Motley
March 29, 2013
March 29, 2013
we all loved are now with our lord and savior..Jesus
March 29, 2013
To your family I say I'm sorry for your loss he always. Be alive In your hearts
March 29, 2013
I'm so sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you and your family.
Anna Hendon
March 29, 2013
Tom, Jerry, Norm and Butter were the Bulls before the NBA was cool. These tributes to Mr. Boerwinkle as a human being are even more impressive.
An Ohio Fan
March 29, 2013
Linda, Gretchen and Jeff,
Tom was first and foremost a great man and a true gentle man. He was also an exceptional athlete, and the only center who could outplay Jabbar. May he rest in peace. You and he will remain in my prayers.
Bill Lupo
March 28, 2013

My heart goes out to you and your family! Your father was one of a kind and one of my favorite softball coaches! You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I know you will carry on where your dad left off! You are his living legacy!
Sincerely, Becky Cortesi-Caruso
March 28, 2013
Linda, Gretchen and Jeff,
Our hearts and prayers go out to you. We remember Tom from his days as a Vol with coaches Ray and Stu, Jan's brother, to his days with the Bulls. He was a true gentleman. His untimely passing is a loss to all.
Janet(Aberdeen) & John Mueller
March 28, 2013
I knew Tom for about 15 years. In that time I never heard him utter a curse word or say anything derogatory about anyone. A true gentleman. He will not be forgotten.
John Kearns
March 28, 2013
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. The bible can be of some comfort at john 3:16
March 28, 2013
Gretchen, Linda, and Jeff, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
The Keating Family
March 28, 2013
As a young fan of basketball when he came into the NBA I admired how he got along with his teammates.
Rodney Tate
March 28, 2013
The world has lost a wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tom's loved ones.
Mark & Lisa Klonowski
March 28, 2013
Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Mr Boerwinkle for your loss

March 28, 2013
To the family and friends of Tom Boerwinkle: Sorry for your loss. It is rare that one reads or hears about a young man although being noted for numerous successes in sports is remembered as one who displayed such a Christlike attitude toward others. Surely the text at Luke 23:43 applies to Tom. Remembering Tom Boerwinkle and his outstanding attributes with sadness in our hearts!
The Carters
March 28, 2013
My sincere condolences to you and the family on Tom's passing. I will remember him fondly as a player and someone with whom I had a business association when he was playing for the Bull. We will miss seeing him at breakfast on Sundays.

A former Clevelander, also, Lois
March 28, 2013
Knew Tom in college at UT, as well as with the Chicago Bulls. He was like a brother to me for such a long time. Would always come up to the organ at the Omni in Atlanta to visit and catch up on our mutual old friends. Just lost my only real brother last week, so losing another one that felt like one just doubles my sadness at both losses. Many thoughts and prayers to his wife and children. Sincerely, Lou Walker (Former Organist for Atlanta Flames/Hawks/Braves).
Lou Walker
March 28, 2013
My heart goes out to the Boerwinkle family. May the God of tender mercies be with you to comfort you during this time. Romans 15:33.
March 28, 2013
I lost my best friend Tuesday.
Tom Quandt
March 28, 2013

We have known Tom & his wonderful family for over 20 + years & will miss him so much. Our hearts, prayers & thoughts go out to you all during this difficult time. Please know that we are here for you. Tom & Deb Kmiec
March 28, 2013
Went to school with Tom at MMI,and remember him as being very kind to this little 5'5" sophmore reserve guard when he was a senior. It was a pleasure to know him and watch him play and develop into a NBA player.
Otis Adkins
March 28, 2013
rest in peace
Dwayne Bickham
March 28, 2013
Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.
Harry Simpson
March 28, 2013
So sorry for your loss.
Andrea Berk
(Gloria and Arthur Greenman's niece)
March 28, 2013
Many memories of watching him play when I was a kid.. Inspired me to play the game.
Thanks Tom..I will never forget you..
March 28, 2013
I recall watching Tom in the '60s as a young boy in Cleveland, Ohio. He used to scrimmage at Estrabrook Rec. God Bless him.
Ray Schmotzer
March 28, 2013
The best rebounder and passer on the best team never to have won the championship. Thank's Tom, for the great memories. Ray Murphy
March 28, 2013
He was huge. Epitomized the big, slow white guy but he killed the gators.
Long time gator fan!
March 28, 2013
ramon esparza
March 28, 2013
Tom was a fine player and an even better man. R.I.P.
Rob Hunter
March 28, 2013
He was my most favorite Bulls player of all time. I so enjoyed watching him when I was young going to a game with my Dad. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. RIP dear Tom.
March 28, 2013
My sincere condolence for the loss of Tom your dear loved one. May your fond thoughts of him bring back good memories. Peace and love to your family and friends, and to the spirit that you all show. [email protected]
B Lucas
March 28, 2013