Thomas Scott McGurn of Waynesville, N.C., passed Sunday, May 22, at age 89. 

He was born Dec. 7, 1932, to the late Frances Hoehle and Thomas Joseph McGurn in Milwaukee, Wis. 

Thomas McGurn Credit: Supplied

Tom attended Evanston Township High School where he was a state champion swimmer, then attended Northwestern University. At Northwestern, he studied political science, was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity and later enjoyed serving on the board of Sigma Chi Home Association. 

After earning his degree, Tom proudly served in the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps Naval Reserve as a pilot. 

As his family continued to grow, he entered the business world and enjoyed a successful career. He retired in 1998 from UniSource Worldwide. 

He worked previously at Mead Paper Company and Chicago Paper Co., serving as its president for several years.

During retirement, Tom honed his many creative passions. His interests and hobbies included the restoration of a 1939 Ford sedan, which survived several trips across the United States with his family; as well as flying, boating, woodworking and building model planes.

Tom was a self-taught musician who loved collecting and playing several instruments, though guitars were his favorite. He loved tinkering in his workshop and could fix anything. He loved riding his Harley Davidsons and enjoyed weekend jaunts when he adopted his alter-ego persona as “Rattlesnake McGurn.” 

He and his wife Linda even enjoyed an epic motorcycle trip out west riding the Harley. Other memorable trips for Tom and Linda included a month-long exploration of Alaska and a trip to Europe where he met many of his Irish relatives.

Although he moved several times, Evanston was always home. 

Tom was a member of the Episcopalian Church and a loyal Cubs fan, an avid reader and could recite lines from the movie Caddyshack by heart.

In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Ann Havelaar McGurn, who passed in 1966 in Arcadia, Calif., and brothers-in-law David Tiedt and Robert Calvey.

Lovingly know as dad, daddo-DoWaDiddy, pops, grampie and great-grandpa, Tom is survived by his second wife of 54 years, Linda Calvey McGurn; children, Susan McReynolds (Jim) of Rochester, Minn., Katherine North (Scott) of Onawa, Iowa; Carrie Smith (Mark) of South Hamilton, Mass.; Thomas H. McGurn (Brenda) of Chicago and Jennifer Demos (John) of Chicago; sister Marsha Tiedt of Woodstock, Georgia; grandchildren, Kristin McReynolds, Dr. Lindsay McReynolds, Colleen Everhart (James), Sarah Nelson (Andrew), Lucas North, Walker Danforth, Jackson Danforth, Harrison Smith, Henry Smith, Thomas McGurn, Scott McGurn, Lexi Demos and Mia “Karma” Demos; and great-grandchildren, Ella Martindale-Nelson, Bodhi Nelson, Francis Nelson, Addison McReynolds-Albien, Caroline Everhart and Ava Grace Everhart. 

Tom was a man who created many loyal and lasting friendships throughout his life. His special group of friends from Evanston High School and Northwestern University held a bond that he cherished to the very end.

A Celebration of Life service will be performed in the fall in Evanston. Condolences may be shared at

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  1. Dear Linda and Family,
    Tom was a longtime friend of our parents who grew up in Evanston and attended the same high school and Northwestern. Our dad, TomGriffith was also a Sigma Chi. Mom was Joann Brick Griffith I have lived in Evanston for 30 years. My brother, sister and I recall lots of get togethers at our house with Tom, Hal Pulfer and the Karges while growing up in Glenview.
    Our parents passed away in 2012 and 2018.
    All of our sympathies to you,
    Lydia G Morrissey, Susan G Lisheron (Austin, Tx), and Sam Griffith of Durham, NC.

    1. Lydia
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I will forever cherish your parents! Love that they were lifelong friends, and I also have the same memory of the entire gang for Evanston friends! The one thing that helped me move on from this was knowing your parents were there i’m sure to greet him with open arms. Thank you again for reaching out. Rocket-88 Forever 🙂