In Memory

Thomas F Strickler - Class Of 1969 VIEW PROFILE

Thomas F. Strickler

Sept. 26, 1950 - June 22, 2019

GRANGER, IN - Thomas F. Strickler peacefully and painlessly passed away Saturday afternoon, June 22, at his sister Martha's home in Granger, Indiana. He succumbed to a very brief battle with pancreatic cancer, of which he was diagnosed just eight weeks prior.

Tom was one in a million. 

Anyone who ever had the good fortune to share a few moments with Tom would quickly realize that he was a great guy. He had an uncommon knack for making folks feel at ease, was always comfortable sharing a laugh, and capable of chatting about all things. Tom was the guy you wanted sitting next to you on the bar stool.

Tom possessed a wonderful kindness of heart, and yet at the same time carried a strength not many could imagine. Tom and his former loving wife, Jan, endured the loss of their only child, Katheryn June, at the far too young and innocent age of 16 as a result of juvenile diabetes. Kate was forever in Tom's heart.

Tom's accomplishments were many. He graduated from the Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes and served in the U.S. Navy both in active and reserve duties. Before and following this accomplishment, Tom pursued several academic paths leading him to advanced degrees from prestigious universities both in the U.S., and Ireland, where he studied Anglo-Irish Literature at Trinity College in Dublin. Tom achieved degrees in Classics, Theology, and ultimately, his law degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Tom began his own law practice in 1987 and grew the business into a successful practice specializing in criminal defense. Tom believed every person is entitled to the help of someone who will pursue fair justice on their behalf and work so that the penalty matches the less.

As one of Tom's closest friends recently said, “Please put your arms around him and give him a big hug. Give him our love and tell him he will be remembered as the ancient Greeks remembered their heroes”.

Tom was a humble man and would agree his greatest life accomplishments may best be reflected by a Buddha quote:

“In the end, only three 

things matter:

how much you loved,

how gently you lived, 

and how gracefully you let

go of things not meant for


Tom will be dearly missed by his sister Martha of Granger, brother Pat of Wisconsin, brother Dave of Massachusetts, and niece Elizabeth of Denver, the daughter of the family's deceased sister Sarah. Tom is also survived by a large number of nephews, nieces, and cousins, and many many others who hold his memory close and forever in their hearts. Tom was preceded in death by his mother, June Cawley Strickler, his father, Robert Strickler, and his sisters, Sarah and Ellen Strickler. 

At Tom's request, there will be no memorial and we ask that those who wish to honor him do so among themselves over their favorite beverage, remembering him with a smile on their face and a laugh in their heart.

The family requests that any donations in Tom's memory be made on Katheryn June's behalf to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International at Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at


Published in South Bend Tribune on June 30, 2019

07/03/2019 JFC

Click here to see Thomas F's last Profile entry.