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Thomas A. Croarkin

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Thomas Aquinas Croarkin, 65, went peacefully into God’s arms on March 16, 2015. A bona fide South Side Irishman, Tom grew up in Chicago and cheered for the White Sox and Notre Dame. After completing an English degree at DePaul University, Tom worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in the south suburbs before moving to Moline, Illinois, to pursue his lifelong dream of announcing horse races at Quad City Downs. Tom never missed a call and brought much joy and many winners to the members of his QCD Handicapping Club, where he was assisted by his wife, Marytherese. In 1988, Tom and Marytherese moved to Columbus where he worked briefly at Scioto Downs and then Chemical Abstract Service. Tom retired from CAS in December 2012 after 23 years of service in varying roles. A gifted writer, Tom shared wit and wisdom with the life stories he wrote as part of his weekly call reports in which he raised everyone “above the rubble” of life. Colleagues honored Tom by compiling them into a bound book on his retirement. An active member of St. Christopher Parish, Tom served as sacristan, bulletin editor and contributor, lector, Eucharistic Minister and ministry chair. Tom loved God, his family, his friends, a good pun, a fine wine, an exciting horse race, and a positive attitude. Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Gerald and Mildred Croarkin; niece, Mary Martha; nephew, Stephen; brothers, Walter and Albert. Tom is survived by his wife, Marytherese (nee Minster), of nearly 40 years; brothers, David (Joyce); Daniel (Christine); and sister, Martha (William) Brennan. Other survivors include sister-in-law, Sharon Carlson and brother-in-law, Dr. John Minster (Peg). Tom is beloved by many nephews and nieces: Joseph (Jennifer); Gregory (Marrea); Patrick (Jasmine); Sam; Alex; Michael (Kim); Gerry (Angie); John (Christine); Mark; Elizabeth Saliwonczyk; Kevin; Chuck (Tammy); Matt; Scott (Dawn); Susan Brent; Tricia and Steven Stilts; Mary Bridget (Nick) Wlos; Kathryn (Tom) Phillips; Jim (Connie) Minster; Paul (Cathy) Minster; Steven Minster; Joseph (Lori) Carlson; and Dani Carlson. Tom’s many friends and other loving relatives are too numerous to mention but they are assured of Tom’s affection. Tom's family will receive friends on Monday, March 23, 2015 from 4-8 p.m., at the JOHN QUINT TREBONI FUNERAL HOME, 1177 West Fifth Avenue, Columbus. Funeral Mass 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at St. Christopher Catholic Church, 1420 Grandview Avenue, Columbus. Burial, Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 11:30 a.m., at Assumption Cemetery, Glenwood, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Vincent DePaul (care of St. Christopher Parish in Columbus) or Trinity School (Columbus) Altar Server Scholarships. In parting, Tom says to all who loved him: “Ignore, as best you can, the fear of a new day. Rejoice, instead, and there will be nothing left but to keep dancing.” And always, “Keep a smile in your heart.”