Thomas Edward McLeod was born to George and Laura McLeod on November 8, 1931, in Melcher, Iowa. Thomas passed away at Westridge Specialty Care on August 3, 2023, at the age of 91.
Thomas is survived by his daughters, Sarah (Brian) and Heather (Adam) and his grandchildren: Grant, Natalie, Bennett, Rylan, Milo, and Nina; brother, Steve (JoAn); nieces, Pam Cacciatore and Laura Conrad; and nephew, Ron McLeod. Thomas was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 50+ years, Bonnie; son, Tom; brother, Robert McLeod; sister, Betty Nolte; sister-in-law, Madonna McLeod; and brothers-in-law, Claude Wadle and Wayne Nolte; as well as his nephews: Monte, Gary, and Jim Wadle; and his niece, Madonna Milburn.
Thomas was born into humble beginnings in his hometown of Melcher, Iowa. He was an inquisitive young man who loved to make crystal radios and found himself tinkering with electricity from a young age. When his mother passed, he was 6 years old, so his grandmother, Sarah Galeazzi, stepped in to care of Tom until her passing. One of his favorite stories to tell was of how special it was on a cold night for her to warm a brick in the fire and put it at the end of the bed they shared to keep warm.
He graduated from Melcher High School in 1949. He enjoyed his class reunions with his 16 classmates from his graduating class with the highlight being their 50th. He also enjoyed his calls from his friend and classmate, Fred Zamberletti, until he passed.
Thomas was a graduate of Iowa State University where he majored in Electrical Engineering and participated in the Air Force ROTC. His Uncle Arch Galeazzi was his biggest supporter while he attended school and often saved up money to share with Tom to help him pay for books.
After graduating from Iowa State, Tom served in the Air Force and was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant Colonel. Outside of his service, he made friends whose connections lasted a lifetime. Christmas cards from Alice and Harold McKernon were always a family favorite!
After the Air Force, Thomas worked in Milwaukee and then Chicago. He loved his times in Lincoln Park and later in Sandburg Village where his friend Jean introduced him to his future wife, Bonnie. Tom loved city life and especially enjoyed sailing on Lake Michigan. He was a lifetime member of the Corinthian Yacht Club and served on their board throughout the years. Some of his dearest friends were made there. Ruth and Roy Ryan and Ralph and Ginny Weninger were always special to his family.
He and Bonnie married in 1969 and later settled in Northbrook to raise their three children. Tom loved attending his children’s soccer games, even trying his hand at coaching. He equally loved attending their music events and was grateful to live in a community that held the arts in high regard.
While living in Northbrook, he opened his own company, McLeod Engineering, and worked there until retirement. During that time, he was active in IEEE serving on its local board. It was there that he met his buddy, Bill (Shortie) Pasco, who was his biggest supporter and a great source of laughs.
After retirement, Tom decided to go back to school. He took many classes in Automotives from the local community college and earned his mechanic certificate. He was a lifelong learner who enjoyed spending time reading and drinking his McDonald's senior citizen coffee. He enjoyed non-fiction books and especially loved to read about the Founding Fathers. Libraries and Bookstores were his favorite places to hang out.
After his children grew up, he enjoyed their visits. He especially loved when his daughter came home from Colorado to visit and enjoyed every minute with his grandkids. He was most tickled seeing his grandkids inspecting things and taking them apart to see how they work. He saw his inquisitive mind in all of them, and it gave him great joy.
In Tom's last years, he returned to the Melcher area where he lived at Homestead and later Westridge. The people who cared for him there were angels on earth, and his daughters couldn't be more grateful for the kindnesses they bestowed upon him. A special thank you to Dr. James Law who treated our father like family. Tom lived his last years healthier and happier because of your thoughtful care. We cannot thank you enough.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your local library.
A private memorial service will be planned in the future.