Deceased January 15, 2012
Thomas G. Getz, from Moline, Ill., passed away on Jan. 15, 2012.
Born Oct. 17, 1927, the ninth of 10 children, Tom joined our class after attending Western Reserve Academy.
At Amherst, he joined Psi U, played basketball and lettered for two years. He was on the sailing team for four years, a cheerleader for one and in the glee club.
After graduating with an economics degree, he served as an ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War on a cutter out of Seattle, and in the North Pacific and Japan, also in search and rescue. After that, he began an outstanding business career with Williams White and Co. and worked up to become the president of Moline Forge.
He was “active in an integral part of an almost unfathomable number of community organizations and causes,” according to his obituary. For example, he was president and, later, chairman of the board of the YMCA; president of his Boy Scout council and recipient of a Silver Beaver award; board chairman of Augustana College; commodore of the White Lake Yacht Club. The American Business Women’s Association named him “Boss of the Year.” Among his many other achievements, he was also named to the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. Obviously, he was a “mover and shaker extraordinary.” Quoting from his obituary, “Tom’s roll was never that of a simple figurehead. He was always the person who quietly rolled up his sleeves, went to work, persevered and got the job done!!”
He was married twice, first in 1951 to Diana Barrott, mother of his three children, Dr. Thomas Getz, Bettina Judge and Christopher Getz. His second marriage in 1973 was to Karen Hartman. Both are now deceased. He also leaves four grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
George Hiller ’50