MADISON - Thomas Edward Nord died unexpectedly on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

Tom was born on July 10, 1944 to Loren and Doris Nord. The oldest of five children, and the only boy, Tom held a special place in the Nord household. He was a reader, scholar and sports enthusiast from an early age. In his younger days, his sports were hockey and baseball. When he was introduced to golf by his dad, a lifelong passion was born.

Tom attended grade school in Shakopee, MN and graduated from DeSalle High School in Minneapolis, MN. He graduated from Saint John's University where he met the love of his life, Mary Lou, at the "Charlie Brown Club." Tom's passion for British Literature, poetry and philosophy caught fire during his time at St. John's.

Tom and Mary Lou married in 1966 and moved to Wisconsin where Tom received his doctorate in British Literature from the University of Wisconsin. Tom and Mary Lou settled in Madison where they raised their daughter, Rachel, and developed deep and long-lasting friendships.

Tom "marched to his own drummer" and created a wonderful life. Before his retirement in 2007, Tom would rise early each morning to deliver the news of the day to his customers - a job he approached with commitment. His "route" allowed Tom freedom during his days. After a jelly donut and a Pepsi, he would read, write and golf.

Tom cherished his role as husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. His granddaughter, Erika, brought tremendous joy to his life. Tom loved "Fridays with the Rooskie", a tradition that started in Erika's infancy, evolved to videos with Barbara Gibson and continued through Erika's high school years.

Tom wove a wonderful story, shared a witty insight and told a wicked joke. He was the consummate listener and valued confident. He will be missed by many.

Tom is survived by his wife of 48 years, Mary Lou (Marx) Nord, daughter Rachel Nord and granddaughter, Erika Espeseth all of Madison, WI, sisters Karen Kerkhove of Sioux Falls, S.D, Mary Nord of Roseville, MN and Bernadette Christiansen of Minneapolis, MN and many friends, in-laws, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at Cress Funeral Home at 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, WI 53704. Visitation from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. with a Celebration of Tom's life beginning at 4:00 p.m. A private family burial is planned for Friday, April 18, 2014.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to Salvation Army, 3030 Darbo Drive, Madison, WI, 53714

salvationarmydanecounty or Second Harvest Food Bank of Madison, 2802 Dairy Drive, Madison, WI 53718

secondharvestmadison or Blessed Sacrament School, 2112 Hollister Avenue, Madison, WI 53726 blessedsacrament are preferred.