In Memoriam

Thomas Gorsuch, Broker

On April 16, 2024, Tom passed away peacefully surrounded by his family. He was born on May 30, 1937 in Rochester, NY. He is survived by his three children, Matt (Leigh), Molly (Rolf), Piper (Theo), his grandchildren Luke and Kate, Payton and Sienna, Marlowe, his first wife Pamela, second wife Ellen, and his sister, Sister Fran. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Marion, brothers John, David, Carl and Paul, and sisters Jeanne and Mary.

Tom grew up working as a bus boy and waiter, learning the restaurant/bar industry hands-on. After graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Army at the training center at Fort Dix, New Jersey, then drove straight to California with his best friend Freddy White and found success as a bartender. His fate changed when he met a Chicago cop who convinced them to move to Chicago in 1963 and open bars, and the rest is history. He was very driven, a self-made go-getter, carving out a successful career in the bar/restaurant business. Tom owned over 30 establishments in Chicago from the late 60’s until the time of his death, notably Mother’s, She-Nannigan’s (the first establishment in the U.S. to hire female bartenders), and the original Little Nell in Aspen.

He was inducted into the Bartenders Hall of Fame in 1995 and then created a second successful career working as a commercial real estate broker for the past 30 years, while continuing his passion for opening and operating new bars. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, and friend; he loved spending time with his family and exercising daily (biking, yoga, rollerblading on the lakefront). Tom had a hobby for buying cars, owning close to 50 over time. He was always the sharpest dressed man in the room and had a huge sweet tooth for chocolate cake, carrot cake, ice cream, cookies, etc.

“Tommy,” as his friends called him, was very light-hearted, funny, intelligent, quick and witty. He had a unique zest for life, a very strong will-power, he was constantly “on-the-go” and had “the best” sense of humor. He loved joking around, watching movies, laughing, music (notably Bob Seger and Johnny Cash), and most of all he loved having fun! Tom had many friends, he never met a stranger, and always treated everyone he worked with fairly with his big heart. He was a true “force of nature” and will be greatly missed. A private celebration of life will be held for family and friends in Chicago.

In lieu of flowers, Tom would want us all to lift a glass and toast to his wonderful life and live all the days of our lives to the fullest! Cheers!

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