Thomas Edward Padden, 76, passed away peacefully on January 13, 2015 at Cornerstone Hospice, The Villages, FL, after a long and valiant battle with esophageal cancer.
Tom was born in Wheeling, WV to Edward and Aimee Padden on June 9, 1938. His sister Mary Jane Padden Casey preceded him in death in 2011.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Nancy Boury Padden and 4 children – Michael Jill Padden of Woodbury, MN; Timothy Audrey Padden of Palatine, IL Aimee Padden Chris Cutshall of Dallas, TX; Karin Chris Kidd of St. Charles, IL. He took extreme pride in his three grandchildren Brittany Gale Padden, Edward Phillip Padden and Connor Thomas Padden.
Tom graduated from Central Catholic High School in Wheeling, West Virginia. He then received his degree at West Liberty State College in West Liberty, WV.
Tom began a lifetime career in food service with Elby’s Family Big Boy Restaurants. From Elby’s, Tom moved into a management position in the Big Boy division of the Marriot Corporation. After leaving Marriott, Tom became an executive with the McDonald’s Corporation. He began his career with McDonald’s as a purchasing manager for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. It was during that period that Tom and his staff launched McDonald’s national breakfast program. For his efforts on this project he was awarded the prestigious McDonald’s President’s Award. Tom received multiple promotions eventually becoming Director of Purchasing for McDonald’s U.S.A. Tom left McDonald’s and joined Coronet Foods located in Wheeling, WV. Coronet was a produce processor and major supplier to the McDonald’s Corporation. While at Coronet, Tom supervised a joint venture partnership with China and Coronet Foods. The partnership included starting and operating a 5000-acre growing farm in the Chinese province of Guangzhou.
Tom spent most of the last five years of his career working and traveling through China. Tom served on the Board of Directors of the Ziegenfelder Company. Ziegenfelder established in 1861 manufacturers frozen water ice novelties for the retail market sector.
Tom’s brilliance, passion and energy touched everyone that came into contact with him. Tom’s amazing memory rarely let him forget a name. He had that innate ability to make everyone feel welcome who encountered him. Tom loved his country. He also loved his home state of West Virginia. He was happy to tell anyone that he was a Mountaineer! Tom loved his dogs, especially Sabre who was his friend and companion for many years. Tom enjoyed reading about and discussing sports and politics on every level. Tom enjoyed playing racquetball and later in life found pickle ball. He also loved golf. Tom’s good natured competiveness endeared him to those who were fortunate enough to play with him on the court or golf course.
Tom was generous. He was generous with his time, his humor, good counsel and willingness to give on every level. Besting Tom for a dinner check was a challenge not often won. Tom gave without any expectations of compensation. His unconditional giving touched many lives. Tom’s generosities left you with a sense of trust, hope and optimism.
A memorial service and celebration of Tom’s life will be held at St. Paul’s Polish Catholic Church on January 18 at 11:00 a.m. in Belleview, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Cornerstone Hospice Foundation, 2445 Lane Park Road, Tavares, Florida 32778 or to Sumter County SPCA and animal shelter, 994 CR 529a, Lake Panasoffkee, Florida 33538.
Arrangements are by Beyers Funeral Home and Crematory, Lady Lake, FL. Local arrangements are by Altmeyer Funeral Home, Wheeling, W.Va. Online condolences may be offered to the family at altmeyer.com