Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tom Getz, RIP

Thomas G. Getz

January, 17, 2012 | Sign the Guestbook | Email AnnouncementMOLINE — Thomas G. Getz, 84, of Moline, died Sunday, January 15, 2012, at Trinity Rock Island.

Services are 11 a.m. Wednesday at First Congregational Church, Moline, with the Reverend Jacqueline Perry officiating. Burial is in Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo. Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. today at Trimble Funeral and Cremation Center, Moline. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Two Rivers YMCA, Quad-City Arts, or Boy Scouts of America.
Tom was born October 17, 1927, in Moline, the ninth of 10 children of Harry W. and Carolyn (Ainsworth) Getz. He attended Moline schools through his high school sophomore year and graduated from Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, in 1945. He graduated from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1950, with a degree in economics.

Tom married Karen F. Hartman on December 26, 1973, in Arlington Heights, Illinois. She died October 5, 2007.
He served as an ensign in the United States Coast Guard during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953, as a communications and deck watch officer on the 311-foot cutter Bering Strait out of Seattle. His ship worked the North Pacific to Japan route on ocean station duty and search and rescue missions.

Tom returned to Moline in February 1953, and was employed by Williams, White & Company. In 1957, he started working part-time at Moline Forge and was in charge of finance. In 1963, he became president of Moline Forge and was in charge of general operations while still remaining an officer in Williams, White & Company.
Tom was active in and an integral part of an almost unfathomable number of community organizations and causes.

He was long involved in the Two Rivers YMCA as board president and was later the chairman of its Board of Trustees. He was chairman of the 1968 campaign to raise over $2 million in capital funds to build the new YMCA on 53rd Street in Moline. He also received the YMCA’s Life-Time Achievement Award.

He was a past president of the Illowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Earlier, he had achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 1943 and later he received the Silver Beaver Award and served as a vice president of Area 3 BSA.
Tom was also the first president of Quad-City Arts when it was founded in 1988 and remained as treasurer for many years. He also served as chairman of the Bettendorf Civil Service Commission, on the advisory council for the Quad-City Salvation Army, was past Commodore of the White Lake Yacht Club in Whitehall, Michigan, was named Boss of the Year by the American Business Women’s Association, served as co-chair for the Christian Friendliness Capital Campaign, and served on the Board of Trustees for Rivermont Collegiate School in Bettendorf.

He was a past board member of Augustana College. He also served on the Board for The United Way, where he served as chairman and was president of various committees. He was on the Board of the Forging Industry Association, the Illinois Humanities Council, the Quad-Cities Regional Economic Development Authority, Renew Moline, and First Federal Savings and Loan in Davenport. Tom was a past president of The Forging Industry Association, City Treasurer of Bettendorf for 10 years, and received the Distinguished Philanthropy Award from the National Society of Fund Raising Executives and the William B. Foster Community Volunteer Award by the Modern Woodman of America in 1999. He was inducted into the Junior Achievement’s QC Business Hall of Fame.
He was among the business leaders responsible for bringing about the I wireless Center, the John Deere Commons, and all of the development that has been built up in downtown Moline as a result of the public/private partnership between the city and Renew Moline.

Tom served as the Chairman of the Rock Island Republican Party and was always eager to engage in political debate with anyone at all, anywhere, any time, and under any set of circumstances at all.

Tom was a supporter of Skip-A-Long Day Care, the Renew Moline Boys and Girls Club, Junior Achievement and the former Quad-Cities Development Group. He was also a supporter of the Quad-City Arts Annual Festival of Trees, the Quad-City Symphony Orchestra, Arrowhead Ranch, the Family Museum and Putnam Museum.
In 2008, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Q-C chapter gave Tom the Distinguished Service to Philanthropy Award for his “exceptional generosity, his leadership and significant and lasting impact...on our community.”

Tom’s role in each of the civic groups enumerated above was never, ever 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.
For many years, Tom served as a member of the Distinguished Clown Corps in the Quad-City Arts Thanksgiving Parade. Although many of his grandchildren also served as clowns alongside of him on the parade route, Tom always had the most fun.

Following his wife Karen’s death, Tom established the Moline Fund in Karen’s memory in an effort to give children a chance to spend their summer months as Karen had.

Tom and Karen also owned Gendler’s Wine Store from 2001 to 2007.

Tom is survived by his children, Dr. Thomas Getz and his wife, Margaret Burrows-Getz, of East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Bettina (Tina) Getz and her husband, William Judge, of River Forest, Illinois, and Christopher Getz of Melbourne Beach, Florida; grandchildren, Meghan Metzger and her husband, Michael, of Washington, D.C., Lara Getz of East Grand Rapids, Eli Judge and Caitlin (Casey) Judge of Chicago, and Skyler Getz and Jacob (Jake) Getz of Grant, Florida; a sister, Carol Bartholomew of Del Ray Beach, Florida; too many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins to count; and his longtime assistant, Tiffany Erichsen. He was preceded in death by his wife, Karen, three brothers, five sisters, and his first wife, Diana Barrott Mannon, the mother of his three children.
The family invites you to share stories and condolences and light a candle in Tom’s memory