Thomas Gruman, husband, father, brother, coach, mentor/teacher, and beloved PaPa passed into eternal rest on October 25, 2012, after a long illness.

The Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin at 11:00 a.m. on November 10, 2012. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the church. Cemetery Prayers at Calvary Cemetery will be followed by a luncheon in the church hall across the street from the church.

Tom was born on March 26, 1937, in Laona, WI. He eventually moved with his family to Wisconsin Dells where he met and married his childhood sweetheart, Eileen Wenkman, on December 27, 1958, at St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church. Tom and Eileen raised five children who in turn blessed them with 16 grandchildren.

Tom graduated from Wisconsin Dells High School in 1955, earned his teaching degrees at UW-Stevens Point where he played football, earned his first Master’s Degree from Winona, MN, and his Administrative Master’s Degree from UW-Oshkosh. He taught and coached in Rudolph, Tomah, Little Chute, Weyauwega, and Fennimore, WI. Tom took the position of Vice Principal at Mauston High School where he remained until his retirement.

Tom was a dedicated coach and mentor whose compassion has touched thousands of young people over the years. But it was his grandchildren who brought him incredible joy. PaPa was very proud of each and every one!

Tom is survived by his wife of 53 ¾ years, Eileen, whose loving care for him during the two years of his illness defined the meaning of commitment and loyalty; his children, Mark (Katie) Gruman, Bernadette Shirley, Carrie Gruman-Trinkner, daughter-in-law, Sherry Weiss and her husband Joel, and Mary (Craig) Ellenbecker; his grandchildren: Samantha, Tommy, Ray, Mari, Sarah, Jacob, Kaitlynne, Aaron, Alex, Kelsey, Aiden, Taylor, Madison, Megan, Emily and Sam; his siblings, sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews, and dear friends and former students. Tom is preceded in death by his beloved son, Ray; his parents, Raymond and Ellen; and his sister, Beverly.

The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book. This best defines Tom’s gift to his family, his friends and his students. This world has been diminished with his passing.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mauston Youth Football Club in care of the Bank of Mauston.