Of Fox Chapel, died peacefully in his home surrounded by family on Thursday, January 26, 2017. Tom was born on July 19, 1928 and raised in Chicago, IL. He graduated from the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan's Graduate School of Business in 1950. He moved to Pittsburgh and began his successful 35-year career at United States Steel in sales and product management. His career was interrupted while he served as an officer in the United States Army during the Korean War. Tom was introduced to Elizabeth Ann Hansen (Betts) by her twin brother, William Stucki Hansen (Bill), and they were married in 1952. Together they had three children, Carolyn, Cynthia and Lawrence. After Betts' passing in 1965, Tom was introduced to Phyllis Marschall Curtis, a widow from Winnetka, IL who had three children, Arthur, Lauren and Peter. They fell in love and were married in October 1968. Together they had one daughter, Dana. The family often referred to itself as The Brady Bunch and then Yours, Mine and Ours.
After Tom's career at United States Steel, he served as a steel industry advisor before finding his true passion, helping people pursue new career opportunities due to economic and life circumstances. Known for being an excellent judge of character, he used his talent to help people regain their confidence, identify their skill-set and strengths, build their resume and refine their interviewing techniques to find a new career. In 1996 Tom joined the Pittsburgh office of Boyden, a global search firm. With his experience and vast network in the metals industries, he revitalized the local Boyden metal practice. He thrived on matching the perfect person to the job. Tom retired from Boyden in 2002 and started his own company, Cramer Marketing Associates, working well into his 80's, connecting business people for all to benefit.
Tom served his Fox Chapel community for 52 years and had a lot of fun along the way. He served the Fox Chapel Borough as a member of the Environmental Advisory Council. Tom was a member of the Fox Chapel Racquet Club since 1967, serving as President, Chair of the Membership Committee and many other board positions. He was a member of Fox Chapel Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow, honored for his contributions to the club and its beneficiaries. He served as President of the Fox Chapel District Association, a community-sponsored group that implements projects to enhance and beautify the area. He participated in many Fox Chapel Follies productions. He served as a Judge of Election on election days. He served as president of the University of Michigan Alumni Club of Pittsburgh and hosted send-off gatherings for new students. He was a life-long member of his college fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, active at the national and local levels, advising the CMU chapter undergraduates on career searches. Tom volunteered at the Pittsburgh Zoo and drove the St. Margaret Foundation bus providing transportation within the community.
Tom enjoyed playing competitive tennis and paddle tennis at the Racquet Club and Pittsburgh Field Club for decades. He loved his Saturday morning tennis games and friendly rounds of golf. He continued to stay fit in spinning classes and working out at the fitness center. He was a member of the Fox Chapel Navy, a group of men who sailed the Chesapeake Bay for 35 years. He loved meeting his friends and their dogs at Riding Meadow Park where he took his German Shepherds including his most recent and favorite, Chief. Tom cherished animals and wildlife and found great pleasure in feeding them in his backyard.
As an avid skier, Tom took his family all over the West and Europe on ski vacations before settling in at Deer Valley, Utah for almost 30 years. He and Phyllis enjoyed horseback riding at C Lazy U Ranch, CO, winning rodeo competitions well into his 70's.
Tom lived life to the fullest each and every day. He touched the lives of everyone he met. He was known for his warm, friendly and outgoing nature, genuine interest in other people, kindness, big heart and inspiring way he conducted his life.
Tom was preceded in death by his wives, Elizabeth Hansen Cramer and Phyllis Marschall Cramer; his sister, Marilyn Samuelson; and son-in-law, Todd Copeland. He is survived by seven children and spouses, Carolyn Sanford (Scott), Cynthia Lackey (Steve), Lawrence (Joann), Dana Copeland, Arthur Curtis III (Terry), Lauren Curtis, M.D., Peter Curtis (Eileen); and ten grandchildren, Scott, Tom, and Caroline Sanford, Elizabeth and Meredith Lackey, Kim Coleman, Susan and Lauren Copeland, Peter and Katie Curtis.
The family will receive friends on Friday, February 10, 2017 from 5 - 8 p.m. at WEDDELL-AJAK FUNERAL HOME, 100 Center Avenue, Aspinwall, for Tom and his wife, Phyllis, who died on October 13, 2016. A funeral service celebrating the lives of Tom and Phyllis will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 11, 2017 at Christ Church Fox Chapel, 630 Squaw Run Road East, Fox Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Foxwall EMS at 145 Squaw Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238 or the Pittsburgh Zoo at One Wild Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.