Thomas F. Strickler

Died: Sat., Jun. 22, 2019

Funeral Service

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Thomas F. Strickler peacefully and painlessly passed away Saturday afternoon, June 22, at his sister Martha’s home in Granger, Indiana. He succumbed to a very brief battle with pancreatic cancer, of which he was diagnosed just eight weeks prior.

Tom was one in a million.

Anyone who ever had the good fortune to share a few moments with Tom would quickly realize that he was a great guy. He had an uncommon knack for making folks feel at ease, was always comfortable sharing a laugh, and capable of chatting about all things. Tom was the guy you wanted sitting next to you on the bar stool.

Tom possessed a wonderful kindness of heart, and yet at the same time carried a strength not many could imagine. Tom and his former loving wife, Jan, endured the loss of their only child, Katheryn June, at the far too young and innocent age of 16 as a result of juvenile diabetes. Kate was forever in Tom’s heart.

Tom’s accomplishments were many. He graduated from the Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes and served in the US Navy both in active and reserve duties. Before and following this accomplishment, Tom pursued several academic paths leading him to advanced degrees from prestigious universities both in the US, and Ireland, where he studied Anglo-Irish Literature at Trinity College in Dublin. Tom achieved degrees in Classics, Theology, and ultimately, his law degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Tom began his own law practice in 1987 and grew the business into a successful practice specializing in criminal defense. Tom believed every person is entitled to the help of someone who will pursue fair justice on their behalf and work so that the penalty matches the crime…no more…no less.

As one of Tom’s closest friends recently said, “Please put your arms around him and give him a big hug. Give him our love and tell him he will be remembered as the ancient Greeks remembered their heroes”.

Tom was a humble man and would agree his greatest life accomplishments may best be reflected by a Buddha quote:

“In the end, only three things matter:

how much you loved,

how gently you lived, and

how gracefully you let go of

things not meant for you.”

Tom will be dearly missed by his sister Martha of Granger, brother Pat of Wisconsin, brother Dave of Massachusetts, and niece Elizabeth of Denver, the daughter of the family’s deceased sister Sarah. Tom is also survived by a large number of nephews, nieces and cousins, and many many others who hold his memory close and forever in their hearts. Tom was preceded in death by his mother, June Cawley Strickler, his father, Robert Strickler, and his sisters Sarah and Ellen Strickler.

At Tom’s request, there will be no memorial and asks that those who wish to honor him do so among themselves over their favorite beverage remembering him with a smile on their face and a laugh in their heart.

The family requests that any donations in Tom’s memory be made on Katheryn June’s behalf to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International at Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at

Charitable donations may be made in Thomas's memory to the following organization:

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
20 Walnut St., Suite 318, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
Tel: Tel: 781 431 0700

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Linda Kilgore
   Posted Sun June 30, 2019
I am so very sad!! Tom was a genuine, kind, and very humorous man. He always made me smile, even in the "dark days", and I will always remember his kind sincerity. I had the priviledge of working with him at the Courthouse, and it was always my pleasure to see his smiling face at my desk. I appreciated reading about Tom's life, as I had no idea about his previous successes and sorrows. He was quite a man, and will be missed by many. With loving sympathy, thoughts, and prayers, Linda Kilgore

Mary Sylvester
   Posted Mon July 01, 2019
Tom was a friend of my brother Mark Sylvester and really helped him with difficult situations on several occasions. They knew each since days at James Madison School, also high school and at Notre Dame. Tom made a difference in Mark 's life that was forever appreciated.

Christine Smith
   Posted Mon July 01, 2019
Sorry for your loss. Mr Strickler was a wonderful person. He helped me and I appreciated the help . He was kind and a great lawyer.Also sending condolences from my son who had a beer with him once in awhile

Brenda Jones
   Posted Tue July 02, 2019
I was so shocked and saddened when I saw Tom's obituary in the paper. I wish I had known he was ill so I could've seen him one last time. He was the kindest, most caring, funny and intelligent man I have ever met. I worked with Tom in his criminal law practice as his assistant for about two years. He was the best boss I could have ever asked for. I then got to see him now and then when I worked for the SJC Prosecutor's Office. Just to see his smiling, goofy self anywhere I was made my day. I can still hear his laugh and that will forever be with me. Thank you for choosing that wonderful picture for his obituary. I don't know where he was at that time, but that is exactly as I remember him and always will. I'm so sorry for your loss, but he is with Kate now and I know he is happy. Much love to the family. He will be greatly missed!

Brenda Jones

Lee Mason
   Posted Thu July 04, 2019
So sad to see this on the SB Central HS web site. Tom was a year behind me at Madison and Central. A really great guy. Always smiling and a lot of fun. Such a good guy, he was an honorary eighth grader with me at Madison even though he was in seventh grade. He lived a couple blocks away from me on Angela and I was on St. Joseph. Saw him for the first time in 50 years at the All Central reunion when I went back for my 50th reunion last year. Can't believe he was taken so suddenly. Count your blessings everyone and pray for Tom.