Thomas T. Singer, age 80, of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, passed away on April 17, 2012 with his family at his side. He was a Christmas baby, born December 25, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois to Richard and Arlene (Talbot) Singer. His mother passed away when Tom was only 3 years old and he was raised by his stepmother, Louise (Lott) Singer. Tom had three older siblings, the late Richard B. Singer, Mary Beth Arnoff and Adrienne McGrath. Tom married Margaret (Peg) Lytle on January 31, 1953 and shortly thereafter he graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago with a degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering. He remained active with the Alumni Association of IIT throughout his life. Tom and Peg’s early years of marriage were spent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Tom developed a lifelong passion for University of Wisconsin Badgers Football. Tom and Peg had five children, Kathryn (Bob) Augustine of Charleston, IL, Jane (Dean) Rock of Davenport, IA, Marianne (Michael) Durkin of Homewood, IL, John (Debbie) Singer of Carrollton, TX and Kimberly (Dan) Dressel of Bexley, Ohio. Tom and Peg raised their family in Homewood, IL until they moved to New Smyrna Beach in 1993. They had vacationed in New Smyrna annually for many years, and Tom was thrilled to retire at the beach, in the town he and his family had come to love.
Tom’s career was devoted to the insurance service industry and he retired as Executive Vice President, from the American Association of Insurance Services in 1993. He worked in the Chicago area from 1957 to 1993. He was known for his very thoughtful and planful approach in the industry. When he retired he was honored with a plaque citing his famous words, “Plan first…then budget”. In his leisure time, Tom enjoyed playing tennis, bridge, and coaching his son’s baseball teams. He was a passionate sports fan; he loved to watch sports of all kinds with his friends and family…football, baseball, golf, NASCAR! Tom was an avid White Sox fan his whole life and a proud Democrat!
During his retirement years, Tom was extremely active as a Tax-Aide volunteer with the AARP Tax-Aide Program. He held a number of different Tax-Aide positions over the years, including overseeing the entire program for half the state of Florida! Tom found great joy in helping many individuals complete their tax forms year after year. His children often commented that their Dad was the only person they knew who loved tax season! It was fitting that Tom passed away on the 2012 tax day, April 17. Tom and Peg loved to host their children and grandchildren and anyone else they could talk into visiting New Smyrna Beach. Tom was active with the Edgewater Moose Lodge and enjoyed attending many social and dining functions there during his retirement years. Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Peg, in 2006. Peg enjoyed travelling to visit with children and grandchildren (there are 14 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren!) throughout the Midwest and Texas, but Tom preferred to hunker down in New Smyrna Beach, where he considered each day “another day in paradise.”
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Friday, April 20, 2012, at 4:00 P.M. on the beach at the Bethune Beach Park. Tom will be buried at a later date in the spring, in Valparaiso, Indiana, alongside his beloved wife Peg. Tom was engaged in extensive philanthropic activities and donated to many causes from wildlife preservation to Unicef. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, those interested may wish to make a donation in Tom’s honor to their favorite charity or non-profit organization.