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Thomas O. Marziani, a long-time resident of West Chicago, passed away at age 89 on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. Tom was born in Chicago, IL, on May 9, 1924, to Andrea and Consulina Marziani. Tom was a 1943 graduate of West Chicago High School and on June 1, 1946, he married Pearl Ashton, the love of his life.
Tom was strong willed; even at the early age of 14 when a bullet lodged in his spine from a hunting accident, he commanded his own rehabilitation. Tom's injuries prevented him from entering WWII, so he worked for Howard Aircraft Co. on the site of DuPage County Airport, installing aircraft engines for the war. He went on to put his engineering skills to work for Douglas Aircraft, where he redesigned an aircraft assembly line to earn a promotion to Engineer and Change Scheduler until the war was won.
Tom worked for Monarch Foods in its West Chicago pickle factory, both part time during high school and again after his work at Douglas Aircraft, rising to Vice President of Operations. After Jel Sert Company purchased Monarch Foods, Tom became Vice President of Manufacturing, using his knowledge and expertise with machinery.
In addition to his manufacturing responsibilities at Jel Sert, Tom and Pearl were instrumental in establishing the Realty Division of Wegner Land & Developing Corporation, which developed 15 industrial buildings, 180 townhomes and 220 upscale residences. Tom, Pearl, and the Wegner Family designed the infrastructure of Willow Creek subdivision and arranged a land swap with District 33 that provided property for the Charles T. Wegner Elementary School.
In the 1980's and early 1990's, Tom was Director of the West Chicago Chamber of Commerce, an active member of the Planning Commission of West Chicago, and Chairman of the DuPage County Airport Board. In those roles he was responsible for the design of the new train station, he helped design the DuPage County Flight Center, and he was instrumental in annexing the airport property to the City of West Chicago.
Tom volunteered for eight years on the District 33 Board of Education and served as its President. He was a founding board member of the District 33 Education Foundation and in 2000, Tom and Pearl helped establish the West Chicago Sisters City Program with Taufkirchen, Germany. In 2006, the West Chicago Chamber of Commerce established the Thomas O. Marziani Lifetime Achievement Award for his 50 years of service to the community. In 2010 Tom was a recipient of the Community High School District #94 Education Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship.
In addition, with his entrepreneurship skills, Tom and Pearl worked on a range of real estate development projects in West Chicago through Marziani Enterprises.
Tom is survived by Pearl, his wife of almost 67 years; daughters Teresa (Tom Fawell), and Gini Marziani (Gregory Wrobel); three grandsons, Gian Thomas ("GT"), Giovanni, and Giuliano; brother Alex, and other relatives. Tom is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers George and Carl.
Visitation will be held on Friday, May 31, 2013, from 3 to 9 pm at Norris-Walen-Segert Funeral Home, 132 Fremont St., West Chicago (one block north of Washington St. & Main St).
Family and friends are asked to gather on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm at DuPage County Flight Center in DuPage County Airport, 2700 International Dr., (Kautz Rd between Rt 38 & Rt 64) in West Chicago where a 3:00 pm mass will be held. Interment Calvary Cemetery in West Chicago.
Contributions in Tom's memory can be made to the District 33 Education Foundation.
For Info 630-231-0060 or www.norriswalensegertfh.com
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