Thomas Matthew Vukelic
January 12, 1950 - May 9, 2024

Thomas Matthew Vukelic, born on January 12, 1950, in Germany, peacefully passed away on May 9, 2024, in Zephyrhills, Florida. His family was at his side. He was a loving father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Tom served in the US Army with honor and a sense of duty and was proud to be a Vietnam Vet. Upon leaving the military, Tom worked as a Union Carpenter and took great pride in being a member of Carpenter’s Local 13. He was known for his hard work and dedication.

Tom had many loves in his life. First and foremost, Tom loved his family. He coached baseball games and bowling leagues, he car pooled kids back and forth to practice, games, and tournaments. When he moved away, he made sure to remember every birthday and holiday with a phone call and a greeting card. He rocked and fed his grandkids and was even changing dirty diapers on his last visit home.  Second, the man loved White Castle hamburgers. No trip back to Illinois was complete without a stop at White Castles. Third, he was a south side guy through and through, White Sox on the tv, and Old Style in his hand.

In 2014, Tom had enough with Illinois winters. He saw an ad for a home for sale in Zephyrhills, Florida, and the rest is history. He loved living in Florida and his favorite t-shirt proudly stated “You Don’t Have To Shovel Sunshine”.  He swam regularly and walked when he was feeling well. He soaked up as much of the Florida sunshine as possible and enjoyed his 10 years there.

He is preceded in death by his wife of 33 years, Gayle, as well as his parents, Jack and Elizabeth Vukelic, and his brother Butch.

He is survived by his sons Ryan (Lindsay) and Thomas “Tommy” (Susie) Vukelic; daughters Tina McGrath and Kate Vukelic; partner Pat Collins; brothers Vince and Zlatko Vukelic; sister Maggie Vukelic; grandchildren Megan and Matthew McGrath, Jake, Lia, Elizabeth, and Elaina Vukelic; great-grandchildren Emilia Rodriguez, and Thomas and Charlee McGrath.

Tom will be remembered for his dedication and love for his family, his deep belly laugh and sense of humor, and the happiness he found in every day life. He visited with his son Ryan shortly before he passed away. They hugged goodbye and Tom uttered one of his famous sayings, “you’re a good man, Charlie Brown”.

Tom was a good man, a great father, and a dear friend to many. His presence will be deeply missed.


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