LOWVILLE, NY — Thomas H. “Tom” Nortz, 92, of Lowville, passed peacefully Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at home under the loving care of his family, his caregivers, and Lewis County Hospice.
He was born in Syracuse, NY to the late Gerald A. and Ellen Burns Nortz. Upon graduation from Lowville Academy in 1944 he joined the U.S. Air Force and served with Arnold Air Transport Command in World War II.
After attending Albany Business College and Morrisville College, he joined his father at the Gerald A. Nortz, Inc., Packard/Chrysler Plymouth dealership, later purchasing the business. Tom was very proud of his team at the dealership, and together they were awarded the highest Customer and Service Awards for over 40 years by the Chrysler Corporation.
He married the love of his life, Lucy Smith, in 1949 at St. Mary’s Church in Glenfield, NY and moved to Lowville, where they raised their family and lived happily for 69 years.
Tom was very active in the community, he was a lifetime member of the Lowville Elks Club and the Lowville American Legion, and a volunteer and past president with the Lowville Fire Department. He was a founder and charter member of The Little Pine Creek Club in Brantingham. Tom also worked tirelessly as a volunteer – delivering Meals on Wheels; with the Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen; and with The Special Olympics at Snow Ridge.
He spent many years driving back and forth to Watertown to sing bass with the former Watertown Barbershop Chorus. This combined two of his great joys – driving and singing harmony. Tom and Lucy enjoyed multiple yearly trips around the country to visit family & friends, and at the age of 82, he energetically led the young pack hiking the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. His favorite hobbies were restoring & collecting antique cars, wood-working, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time at their camp at Chase Lake. He will be greatly missed for his story-telling and wit, and for his finesse with the caramelized onions, or Vitamin “O” as he called them…. his secret to a long life.
These past few years, Tom and his family have been greatly appreciative of the help from the kind and thoughtful caregivers and neighbors that have allowed Tom and Lucy to stay together living in their own home.
He was predeceased by a sister, Jean Nortz Dillon and his brother-in-law, George Dillon; a sister Sarah “Sally” Nortz Lynch and his brother-in-law Hon. John Robert Lynch; his daughter-in-law Carolyn Nortz; a granddaughter, Jennifer Nortz; a granddaughter Caitlin Nortz; and many dear friends and relatives.
Surviving are his beloved wife Lucy, their children Nancy (Ed), Henry (Cindy), Terry (Mary), Cindy (Charles), Gerald (Kristy), Maria (Peter), and 6 grand-children and 4 great grand-children.
A memorial Mass will be said noon Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Lowville. Arrangements with Iseneker Funeral Home, Lowville. There will be no calling hours. Burial at a later date at Lowville Rural Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Tom encourages all to volunteer, and to make donations to Friends of Lewis County Hospice; P.O. Box 266; Lowville, NY 13367.
Condolences may be made online at www.isenekerfuneralhome.com