Thomas A. Muth
Thomas A. Muth East Lansing Born February 1, 1937 to Alphonse and Grace Muth, Thomas A. Muth died October 20, 2010 at the age of 73. He received a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Dayton, a J.D. from the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from Ohio State University. Early in his career, Dr. Muth worked as a lawyer and theater manager in New York City, owned and operated Mahogany Hall, a bookstore/bar in Cincinnati, OH, and participated in amateur automobile racing. He joined the Department of Telecommunication at Michigan State University in 1973 after serving as a visiting professor of Communication at Ohio State University. Dr. Muth has been a central figure in Michigan's telecommunication community for three decades, serving as a consultant to government and industry on communication regulatory matters. He led the Department of Telecommunication into new areas, encouraging a broad view of the field arising from the convergence of broadcasting, cable, telephone and computer networks. He served as Acting Chairperson of the department from 1996 to 1999. An award winning teacher, Dr. Muth received an Excellence in Teaching award from the Golden Key National Honor Society in 1989 and a State of Michigan Teaching Excellence Award in 1991. He is the founding advisor of the Associated Students for a Career Orientation in Telecommunication (ASCOT). Dr. Muth is survived by his wife of 36 years, Martha; daughter Katherine (Tyler Spencer) Muth of Brooklyn, NY; and son Thomas (Ellen) Muth, Jr. of Lansing, MI. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated Monday, October 25, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 955 Alton Rd, East Lansing with the Rev. Mark Inglot officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Thomas A. Muth Sr. Endowment Fund in Telecommunication Information Studies, and Media, at Select the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, then Tom Muth Endowment Fund. The Muth family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing. Please visit to offer online condolences.

Published by Lansing State Journal on Oct. 22, 2010.
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Dr. Muth was the most impressive professor I ever had at MSU. I had the pleasure of taking 2 of his classes and also being one of his teacher assistants. He challenged me intellectually in ways I never thought possible. I was able to pass that information on to aid other students and apply his teachings in the business world.

Dr. Muth motivated me to start my own Telecommunication Consulting business in which his intellect, passion and desire still fuel me today.

I am saddened by his passing. I will never forget the impact he has had on my life. May God be with the Muth family!
Michael Causey
June 21, 2013
Muth, you were the best professor I've ever had. You forever changed how I looked at the world, how I studied, and you broke my nervousness of speaking in front of crowds. I miss the days of being one of your UA's.

Thanks for everything, Muth.
D McNamara
October 12, 2011
I just found out about Tom's passing. So sorry about this...the Muth family is in my thoughts. He was a wonderful teacher, and a good person through and through.
Melissa Camacho
September 14, 2011
Dr. was Muth will always remain to many, the kind face and generous spirit at the Telecommunications Dept., MSU that he was. His intellect, wit and humour and enthusiasm for his work and students will long be cherished and his life celebrated.

I wouldn't have completed my MA in Telecommunications in 2000 at MSU without his guidance and encouragement.

He was also an incredible mentor and parent for many of us who were international students and who often would be found in his office or at a local coffee house chatting about our various projects, countries or his keen love for flying.

His knowledge in communications and easy manner in which he shared his skills and knowledge drove me to love the communication profession. I went on to complete a PhD in another Dept. at MSU but kept him informed on my progress. He will be missed by very many people, especially his students and colleagues. My he RIP.
kuria githiora
June 9, 2011
A brilliant man who made a lifetime impact on me.
Norman Hajjar
March 19, 2011
I just read about Dr. Muth's passing away. I'm deeply saddened. I was an international student 6 years ago - and I had the opportunity to work on various projects with him throughout my time at university. Dr. Muth mentored me in so many ways - both in personal and professiona levels. He always believed in me - pushed me to try new things and to lead projects. He believed in me more than I believed in myself. He always has a special place in my heart.
Manal Karadsheh
January 2, 2011
Tom was one of the few professors that really stuck in my mind after graduation. I had him for a few classes, and the one thing I really remember about him was that he really wanted students to succeed on their own terms. He always seemed to find a way to help make it work, no matter what type of student they were. Really a big loss for Michigan State University, but we were fortunate to have him for as long as we did!

Condolences to Tom's family, hopefully all the fond memories expressed here help to ease the pain.
Kelly Rush
December 15, 2010
I'll miss Dr. Muth, and ASCOT and the Telecommunication department will be missing a great ambassador.
-Jesse Page, MSU, 2000-2004
December 14, 2010
Dr. Muth was an inspiration to everyone he taught. He was forward thinking and encouraged the best in people. During my MA at MSU, Dr. Muth encouraged me to do a PhD. Though I didn't know better at the time, that encouragement remains fondly in my memories, and has likely made a difference in my choice to pursue a doctoral degree years later. While interviewing for digital media positions in NYC after graduating from MSU TC, a TC alumna ended up interviewing me for a job opening. Dr. Muth became the topic of our conversation. I vividly remember the MSU alumna stating: back in the 80's Dr. Muth was right about his predictions of the future of mobile technology! A smart and kind man well remembered by all.
Peyina Lin
December 9, 2010
One of my fondest childhood memories is when my godfather, Tom, visited my mother (Patricia Ann Muth Stephens) when we were ex-pats living in Lausanne, Switzerland. I remember how happy my Mom was to spend time with him- he was one of only two American relatives who came to visit us during our seven years abroad. As I grew older, I enjoyed his intellect and sense of humor. More recently, I felt truly honored when he took the time to read my dissertation and gave it a good review. While we can never go back to the way things were, I will always hold dear the fond memories of our brief times together. I also appreciate that his wife, Marty, was gracious about allowing one of my college friends and I to house sit at their home for a few days when we needed an inexpensive “get-away.” Many thanks and love, Marie A. Fortini, PhD.
Marie Fortini
November 10, 2010
Our condolences to the Muth family. We here in northern MI were priveleged to have known Dr. Muth. What a wonderful man- both academically and as a person. He has left his mark on this world.
Diane Rekowski
November 8, 2010
Tom was a beloved cousin and good friend of my youth. When I was a greenhorn freshman farm girl at UofD in 1961, Tom had already lived in New York and had frequented "beatnik coffee houses" and jazz clubs. He was a BMOC at UofD and helped me find my way around and introduced me to his fine friends. Trying to help me to a more sophisticated outlook, he took me to see Peter Sellars in "The Mouse that Roared"! Tom's father, Al, was my Godfather...He died at the early age of 48, and Tom became man of the house as a young teenager. He took loving care of his mother and his elderly aunts.. He was a wise, gentle, and yet worldly, loyal and kind gentleman. He was an inspiration to our family and to the many many friends he had. Our love goes out to Marty and Kate, and Tom Jr...
Diane and Peter Voyentzie
October 29, 2010
My condolences to the Muth family and Telecom community on the passing of a truly wonderful person and inspiring professor. Dr. Muth not only cared about his students while they were at MSU but he encouraged and helped to guide them towards a meaningful future. I am saddened by the loss of such a dear mentor and friend. Rest in peace Dr. Muth.
A J Crossley
BA '91
October 29, 2010
I feel blessed to have known Tom and to have him as a colleague over several years. He was always optimistic and a source of inspiration.
Mary Bresnahan, Professor in Communication
October 27, 2010
Dr. Muth was the best advisor I ever had. His passion for Telecom was inspiring and I wouldn't be where I am today without him. He was so giving and prayed for me relentlessly when I had cancer. I now pray for peace for the Muth family.
Bethanie (Lavoie) Kelley
October 27, 2010
The most impactful educator I've ever known, and a wonderful person.
Ed Swiderski
October 27, 2010
Dr. Muth is exemplary as a wonderful thinker, visionary and doer. He always made a point of converting his thoughts into meaningful action. I am grateful to you, Dr. Muth.
Don Moore
October 27, 2010
To Martha,Katie and Tom, Our family extends our sympathy to you on the loss of your husband and father. Though it has been many years, since our daughters were at St. Thomas, when my daughter was visiting last week with her little baby we found her and Katie's second grade picture and had found memories of her and your family. We will keep you in our prayers. Sincerely,Joan,Greg and Michele Wierzba
Joan Wierzba
October 26, 2010
Dear Marty, Kate, and Tom, I was so sorry to hear about the passing of your husband and father. Tom was my favorite cousin. At Ohio State Tom was my mentor. He was such an optimistic when he knew I was struggling. I remember writing all those difficult essays papers but Tom gave me the confidence to do well. Of course, he came to the rescue when an English Professor gave me a very difficult time over semantics. Tom was always available no matter what deadline he had to meet. Tom found a great apartment for me where he lived at Presidential Gardens in Columbus and a very lucrative job at the Black Horse Inn because he knew Michael Bors the owner. .I do not know what I would have done without him during those challenging years. That is what family is all about being there for each other whenever. I fondly remember his best friends at Ohio State, Dale Warnke and of course, Dexter Jacobson who was the best man at Tom and Marty’s wedding. Aunt Gracie was so happy at this joyous event. Over the years when I would call to say how everything is going, he would always talk about his wonderful wife Marty and later Kate and Tom whom he was so proud of and brought him so much joy throughout his life. He adored Marty’s family and they all loved Tom. One year I asked if he and Marty were coming for Thanksgiving dinner in Troy. This was an annual event for all the Brundrett siblings and spouses. Tom said, “Kate, I would love to but I will be in Columbus with Marty’s family. Tom was so dedicated to his wife and children and Marty brought out the best in Tom. When we talked over the years Marty and his children were always the topic of conversation. In April of this year, I called Tom to inform him Diane; my sister was writing a book about the Brundretts’ years on the farm and would love to have his literary genius input. I was asking Tom about the train trip to St. Louis to visit Aunt Nonie, Uncle John, Audrey and Stan Mockler. Tom sent a masterpiece to Diane about all the family interactions that our family would never know. Tom wrote so eloquently with ease. He gave us so much information about Aunt Dee, Uncle Roscoe and the joyful times they experienced as well as the vicissitudes that we all confront. Marty, Kate and Tom please know how much I share your loss. I am so sorry I was unable to attend his funeral and spend time with you. I was traveling back to Indianapolis Monday. Tom will be greatly missed forever. With Deepest Sympathy, Kate Dwyer, T.J. and Liz Dwyer.
Kate Dwyer
October 26, 2010
Tom & young Tom have always been extremely kind to my Cathy. I am grateful to have known him. My condolences to the Muth family. Maryanne Illman
October 26, 2010
I knew Dr. Muth through his son and my friend Tom Jr. Back in high school I'd go hang out with Tom Jr or call the house and end up chatting with Dr Muth in passing. He always had a funny comment or thought to tell me, usually concerning a new invention he just thought of that the world needed, or some abstract idea he came up with; much like his son, Tom. Always friendly, likable, innovative, authentic and interesting. He told us kids that he coined the term "internet" and that has always been one of the myths surrounding him. What else did he think of that we never knew about? What an amazing man amd role model. And thank you, Dr Muth, for selling me your old Nissan Maxima. It is a great car and you took great care of it, so I thank you! Rest in peace, Tom Senior.
Cathy Illman
October 26, 2010
Tom’s death leaves a great emptiness in all our lives. I remember his wit, kindness and intelligence. He was a great friend. Peggy (Bull) Jacobs
Peggy (Bull) Jacobs
October 26, 2010
When I entered the MMPHD program in 1979, Dr. Muth's graduate Telecommunication Regulation class was my very first class. Initially, I was baffled. He took the time to help me with a case and encouraged me.

Later, I was his TA. I learned so much about the law, but more importantly, about teaching. He always took time to help students.

I try to emulate his manner in my classes now.

He was a great teacher, an outstanding intellectual, and a valued friend.

My deepest sympathy to the family.
Walter Mathews
October 25, 2010
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Ved Gossain
October 25, 2010
Dear Martha,

Our thoughts are with you, young Tom, and Kate. When Tom was little he had a beautiful Huffy bike that he would bring up to the farm. All the Brundrett kids would ride their bikes up and down the gravel driveway for hours. Tom's bike had chrome fenders and there is no way to describe how fun it was for a little kid to be included. When Tom went to college he gave his bike to Rob, the oldest brother. Rob converted the bike into a Whizzer motorbike. When we went to college, Tom would always spend time with us. We would talk for hours about everything you can imagine. During those years when Tom and Gracie would visit the farm, Dad would always tell us " if we work hard and keep our wits about us, we can accomplish alot. Just look at Tom Muth".

You are all in our thoughts,
Tracey and Larry
Larry/Tracey Brundrett
October 25, 2010
Tom was a pioneer in the telecommunications world. I remember when he showed me the first fiber optic cable in the late 70's and said this is the future. From his days as a partner of the East Lansing Research Associates (ELRA) to his many years of service on the East Lansing Cable Commission (where he gave countless hours to his community), Tom engaged with the giants of the industry, from John Malone to Ted Turner... so many people in the cable industry got their inquisitive spirit from Tom. It is indeed a loss for all of us.
John Liskey, former manager of United Cable in East Lansing and telecom attorney.
October 25, 2010
Dear Kate and family,

I am so sorry for your loss. I feel lucky to have met Dr. Muth, a remarkable, inspiring man whose spirit lives on in you. My thoughts are with you all during this difficult time.
Melissa Giannini
October 25, 2010
Thomas Muth was a kind and passionate scholar. Talking to him, one saw in his eyes a love of learning. He raised wonderful children, one of whom -- Tom Jr. --, became one of my best friends. He will be remembered fondly.
Ian Sugierski
October 25, 2010
Kate & Family,
We are so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
The Eisinger Family
October 25, 2010
Tom was a brother and friend to me, as well as a colleague. We met in 1974, working together on a number of telecommunication projects involving cable television. We traveled to Rockford and Columbus. Later, we worked together in the Telecommunication Dept. We often lunched together at Beggar's Banquet. Our families celebrated many events. Tom's sense of humor was legend. He had so many stories from the many worlds he lived in -- telcom, law, music, bars! He loved life, and he faced adversity with confidence in God's love.
To Martha, Kate, and Tom Jr. and to Tyler and Ellen, I share my deep sympathy at this time of great loss.
May the pain of this hour be sweetened by the memory of this good man and his many acts of kindness and generosity.
John Eulenberg
October 25, 2010
Although I didn't know Mr. Muth well, I remember him as a kind man. My mom was a day care provider when Tom and Kate were young, and we enjoyed many happy hours playing. May God give you peace in your hearts as you deal with your great loss.
Debbie (Cassel)Nemecek
October 25, 2010
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Muth. To try an express everything that Tom has done for me would be impossible to do. He was always willing to listen and teach about subjects and situations well beyond our telecommunication's classes. He was kind, compassionate, extremely funny, witty, devoted, and a great mentor. My favorite stories were when he would relate things back to his family, whom he loved to talk about. To the Muth family, I am extremely sad for your loss, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers while you go through this difficult time. Tom will forever be in my thoughts as I continue to apply everything he taught me while a TISM student at MSU. -Paul Harmon, Telecommunications, 2005
~Paul Harmon
October 25, 2010
Martha, Kate (Tyler) and Tom Jr (Ellen) while Jerry and I cannot be with you today we are thinking about you all. Our prayers for peace and strenth during this difficult time go out for you

All our Love
Jerry and Denise Schwartz
October 25, 2010
I am deeply saddened by Professor Muths passing and I wrote my blog and recorded a video to honor this great guy, he was an inpiration to many and I will miss him deeply.
Thomas and Sandra Matt
Thomas and Sandra Matt
October 24, 2010
We felt like Tom, Martha, Katie, and Tommy were our "family" back in the 70's. We celebrated holidays together, vacationed together, and, of course, shared our Catholic faith. Tom was a true Renaissance man. We are very thankful that we were able to know him.
Rosemary Fox (Block)
October 24, 2010
Marty, Katy and Tom,

Linda and I were so sad to hear about Tom's passing. Although I haven't kept in contact much in recent years, I'm sure you know that he was such a great inspiration, supporter and friend to our whole family for his entire life. I have so many memories of him especially in the early years. As my mother's cousin, he was between the generations of my Mom and Dad and we siblings. We children at the time looked up to him and learned much from him; we were from the farm and he was worldly, friendly and always willing to explain in a good natured way from the latest in new science, to what college was like, to the latest pop and folk music. All of us have a story about how he helped us personally when we were away at college at Ohio State or UD. In my last year at OSU we had a dispute with our apartment call to Tom and he was shortly explaining to my room-mates and I our "rights" in the agreement and helped us resolve the dispute. My roomates were impressed with my "personal attorney". He was a wonderful caring and always helpful person; we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Rob and Linda Brundrett
Rob Brundrett
October 24, 2010
Dear Marty and family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Jeanie Nelson
October 24, 2010
I met Tom through the Marian Peace Center of Lansing- he was a man of faith who truly cared about helping others. At the time, I was looking for work-I mentioned that I would love to work at MSU- he helped me with the process, sent one email to the person interviewing me, and I was hired, that was 1995. As an employee, I also have earned my college degrees- B.A. and M.A. in Sociology and am 3/4 of the way through the PhD program. Thanks Tom- may you now have your eternal reward for all your kindness.
Laurel Hilliker
October 23, 2010
Tom you were a great inspiration to me as well as a good friend. What you have done for our family and myself personally will always be remembered. Thank-you for all the fond memories. My sincere well wishes to your family, Martha, Kate, and Tom.
Tom Dobson
October 23, 2010
I am deeply sadended to hear about Tom death.
My heart goes out to him and his family.
Tom was a terrific professor. A faithful friend. Department of Telecommunication of MSU has lost one of the most important professor and leader of the deparment. I am deeply grateful to all he did for the Department. May he rest in peace.
Fr. Gildasio dos Santos - Brazil
Gildasio Dos Santos
October 23, 2010
Dr. Muth will be remembered with the fondest memories. He was a pioner in his field and greatly helped me form a career at AT&T post divestiture before anyone knew telecom majors were even needed. I only wish I could have seen him in recent years to tell him how much he has meant to me. My sincere condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed.

Cyndi (Moore) Weinstein
1987 BS Telecom

BS Telecom 1987
Cyndi (Moore) Weinstein
October 23, 2010
Dr. Muth was an acccomplished professor who took the time to help each and every student. He truly cared about the advancement of TC at Michigan State and the future of his students. His spiritual journey will be rewarded. Martha, Katherine, and Thomas - I hope that all the wonderful memories of Tom will one day replace sadness you feel today. Please accept my condolences. David Testa, Michigan State University, Telecommunications 2002.
David Testa
October 23, 2010
Tom joined MSU when I was a freshman considering changing my major from education to tv & radio (which became telecommunications). He was one of my favorite professors, was my advisor, and a good friend. Fond memories of a genuinely good person:-)
Marge Kehrer Redmond
October 22, 2010
I will remember Tom as one of our all time favorite friends and restaurant regulars at Beggar's Banquet Restaurant in East Lansing. The evenings were always livlier and "better" when Tom and Martha arrived. Tom always made us feel like "best friends," and warmed us in many ways. The stories ....! I will always remain esteemed to have been his bartender and friend ... and fellow "trickster."
Terry Drum
October 22, 2010
Tom was one of the special kind of professors who you could tell really cared about you and your development as an undergrad.

He had a true gift that will be missed.
Roger Blake
October 22, 2010
My heart goes out to you and your family, Marty. I'm so sorry for your loss and will keep you in my prayers.
Helen Irvine
October 22, 2010
Tom had actively involved with local business in greater Lansing region. He was a great montor for me. I am going to miss him forever.
Eugene Yu
October 22, 2010
Dr. Muth was a man of integrity, wisdom and class - virtues that were evident in all aspects of my interactions with him as a student in TISM and a member of ASCOT. He touched the lives of so many and will be missed. May he rest in peace and may his family be comforted during this difficult time.

TISM '07
Kevin Smith
October 22, 2010
Tom will always be the 21 year old genius living in an aging time capsule. He was a mentor, a friend and devout Catholic...a man who many sought to emulate or to have the privilege of his wisdom over a cup of coffee. Welcome home, in peace.
Bob McGowan
October 22, 2010
Deepest heartfelt condolences from your friends at the Student Book Store. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Howard, Greg and Brad Ballein, Mike Wylie and Rose Miller
Howard Ballein
October 22, 2010
We are so sorry to hear about Tom's passing. We are glad to have known him. He will be missed.
Ron and Susan Brandt
(Tyler's Mom and Stepfather)
October 22, 2010
The hardest and best class I ever had at Michigan State. Every time I see Tom we would always fall into this Abbott and Costello mold no matter where we were or who was near. Man I loved that guy!
Mike Lewis
October 22, 2010
I got to know Tom and Martha through their daughter Kate who became a dear friend in graduate school. I'll always remember graduation when my family couldn't come because my father was ill. The Muths took me under their wing and treated me like an adopted daughter for the weekend. His warm spirit and great sense of humor will be much missed.
Maggie Breslin
October 22, 2010
I would like to thank Tom for everything he did for so many MSU students over the years. My time with him was memorable and I will always remember his strength, passion and drive to make the people around him better.I will miss Tom very much. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
Phil Bertolini
October 22, 2010
I was honored to have known him for a brief time. It can truly be said about him that he was a teacher who touched peoples lives.
Rick Mason
October 22, 2010
Professor Muth was a great teacher and a great man! You will be missed!!
Ryan Cook
October 22, 2010
Professor Muth was one of the greatest helps to me while completing my IT Masters in 1 year at MSU. I couldn't have done it without you! Your classes challenged the mind, talks in your office led to days of conversation with others, and your insights were invaluable. Thank-you for everything, you will always be remembered in the hearts of your students! A+
Michael Wolthuis
October 22, 2010
I have known Dr. Muth as my teacher, advisor, supervisor and dear friend. I have rarely found a person with as much kindness, intelligence and integrity as Dr. Muth. I especially appreciate his ability to engage young people, see the best in others, act with a sense of fairness and caring, and his open and obvious love for and pride in his family (including his church family). I will always be grateful to him for the many gifts he has given me. Thank you for seeing the best in me, seeing my talent and not my gender, and all the good things you have brought into my life (and they are many). You will be greatly missed. Lisa Whiting Dobson, Okemos, Michigan
October 22, 2010
I remember going to him in my Telecom Policy class frustrated about some of the readings, and how I thought they didn't make any sense. I thought I was the only one in the class who didn't get it.

He sat me down and said "How about this. I...'ll make you a TA, and you'll get 4.0 in the class. All you have to do is help me correct everybody else's homework." Turns out, I knew the material much better than everybody else -- and I knew it by grading their homework. The fact that it also made me read the book back and forth to make sure that the kids weren't their answers made me know the law back and forth.

He is the reason why I'm good at my job and I love the policy aspect of it. Personally, his were the shoulders that many of us stood on early in our careers.
Nick Kwiatkowski
October 22, 2010
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Lora McAdams
October 22, 2010
I owe so much knowledge to Prof. Muth, he was a wonderful man and such a great professor.
Michigan State University
Telecommunications '05
Jessica Goodrich
October 22, 2010
Uncle Tom was a great person and i will miss him alot

Stacy Morris
October 22, 2010
Tom was a terrific teacher and mentor, always willing to listen. Tom Taylor, Syracuse, NY
October 22, 2010
Thank you for all the knowledge you instilled in me during my tenure at Michigan State. I owe a lot of my current success to you and will be forever grateful. You will be missed.

Andrew VanDusen
Michigan State University
Telecommunications '03
Andrew VanDusen
October 22, 2010
Tom was a great friend and community member I will miss him greatly.
Ronald Choura
October 22, 2010
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