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Thomas Anthony Broz
June 30, 1950 ~ October 9, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
9 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Thomas's family - View on Tribute Wall
Born in 1950, Tom exemplified the phrase “mid-century modern”. As a second generation Czech-American, his family initially lived with his grandparents in an immigrant Czech neighborhood in Chicago before they moved to the suburb of Westchester where he attended Catholic grade and high schools. He was so attached to these experiences that he even put together the 50th Reunion of his Grade School graduating class and continued to enjoy life-long friendships made in high school. From there he attended the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in Civil Engineering and competed on the Crew Team, serving as its President his senior year. While completing a master’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, he and Colleen married.
From grad school, he was recruited by multi-national Bechtel Power Corporation’s Norwalk office. There he earned his professional registration as a Civil Engineer in California, Illinois and Indiana and subsequently his Structural Engineer license, a rare recognition in the United States. He performed seismic analysis and design work on major nuclear power plants in the United States as well as Taiwan, Japan, and Spain. While developing new business for the company’s largest division, he worked on unique projects such as a Biosphere in the desert, and a high-velocity wind tunnel.
After nearly two decades at Bechtel, he worked for various companies in the LA Basin as the construction manager for catholic churches and schools and his favorite, fire stations. He was proud to be a civil engineer and was blessed to have found his calling.
Many know him through activities completely unrelated to his professional career. Once their son arrived however, priorities shifted … seismically, and Tom embraced every opportunity. By default one season, he ended up the team’s soccer coach and continued to coach for 11 years, earning a College level coach’s credential to be able to do so.
When a Boy Scout Troop leader was needed, Tom took over for St. Jeanne de Lestonnac School Troop 804 - with gusto! He loved camping, hiking, canoeing, and teaching knot tying at Scout-O-Rama. Every May, he coordinated several Scout Troops to place American flags on the graves of military veterans at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery. He was immensely proud of every young man in the troop, all of whom earned the rank of Eagle Scout or other national recognition. Their success meant as much to him as any of his professional accomplishments and awards, which were numerous.
His love of the outdoors influenced most family vacations to national parks throughout the West including multiple trips hiking Yosemite and fishing June Lake. The fish will miss the free food.
At the time of his death, he was actively serving on the Boards of his homeowner’s association, the Orange County American Society of Civil Engineers and Senior Civil Engineers, the University of Notre Dame Orange County Club, and the national University of Notre Dame Senior Alumni Board. He was a docent for Orange County Parks every Sunday at the Santiago Oaks Park Nature Center and when needed, a wildfire Fire Watcher. As an OC Tracker for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, he led tracking and moonlight hikes but his favorites were the scat hikes. When he could no longer lead hikes this year, he worked on the computer to identify over 10,000 animal photos for the Conservancy’s database. With his indomitable spirit, he looked forward to rejoining his buddies on the golf course. Right to the end, he thought he had more time, there was so much more he wanted to do.
Tom, to put it simply, you did do a lot: for your family, your friends, your alma maters, your community, your profession, scouting and nature.
Donations in lieu of flowers
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to your choice of the following non-profit organizations that meant so much to Tom:
Notre Dame Men’s Rowing Team
This link directs the donation to the Men’s Rowing Club
To make it a memorial gift, continue to “Dedicate Gift”