Obituary for Thomas Bill
SHREWSBURY, MA / REEDSBURG, WI
Thomas J. Bill of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 25, 2018, with his family gathered at his side; he was 68 years old. Tom was born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin on June 18, 1949, one of five children of Alban and Irene (Sobota) Bill. He spent his youth in Reedsburg and attended Sacred Heart School prior to graduating Webb High School, Class of 1967. Tom earned a B.S. in Political Science from Assumption College in Worcester, Class of 1971.
Having grown up in the same hometown, Tom and his wife Claudia (Emerson) dated during high-school and were married in the small Durward’s Glen Chapel in Baraboo, Wisconsin on April 7, 1969. Tom spent most of his professional career working for Xerox as a business administrator and operations manager prior to his retirement in 2005. Due to work requirements, Tom and Claudia relocated their family several times, having lived in Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
A gifted athlete in his day, Tom excelled at basketball, baseball and football. His love for sports started at a very young age and never wavered. Growing up he spent countless hours practicing basketball which earned him an opportunity to play at Assumption College. He received the nickname of “Chico” after a great major league baseball player of the time due to his success on the high-school baseball field. Later in life, there were many stories of Tom challenging the younger family members to a game of “horse” and winning with his famous left hand hook shot or three point sinker. Tom was an avid sports fan and was known as the “Big Cheese” by his east coast college friends having grown up in Wisconsin and being a life-time Green Bay Packers fan. Tom’s five grandchildren, who adored him dearly, carried on his high-school nickname by calling him “Papa Chico”. Tom also had a passion for fishing and enjoyed nothing more than meeting up with his brothers and friends in Port Clinton, Ohio to fish for walleye on Lake Erie. Tom’s children have great memories of spending time with family and friends fishing on Lake Redstone in central Wisconsin and Lake Bear Skull in northern Wisconsin.
Tom had an infectious personality and an uncanny ability to make you feel like the most important person in the world when you were with him. His sense of humor was contagious and he was often the life of the party. Tom loved music almost as much as sports. He had a broad range of music appreciation and he certainly tried to share it with everyone he knew. Whether it was a dance party in his living room with friends and family on a Friday night or in the center of the dance floor at one of the many family weddings, Tom was always ready to show-off his dance moves (with the YMCA and electric slide being his favorite). Tom was truly one of a kind as is evident by the overwhelming number of funny stories, sayings and memories that he has left with his family and friends.
Tom leaves behind his wife of 49 years, Claudia A. (Emerson) Bill; three daughters, Kimberly A. Bill and her boyfriend Greg Borbas of Prospect, CT, Jennifer L. Lund and her husband Christopher of Shrewsbury, Angela M. Sowden and her husband Robert of Shrewsbury; one son, Thomas E. Bill and his wife Jocelyn of Lancaster; as well as five grandchildren, Madelyn Sowden, Noelle Sowden, Robbie Sowden, Carl Lund and Van Lund. Tom also leaves three brothers, Richard, Alban, and Michael and a sister, Betty; he was preceded in death by his brother James.
Please join Tom’s family in celebrating his life during calling hours and / or mass. Calling hours will be held on Friday, March 9th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough. A funeral mass will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 10th at St. Mary’s Church, 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation in Tom’s name to the charity of your choice. To read more of his life, or to leave a condolence, please visit Tom’s Book of Memories at www.HaysFuneralHome.com.