The invitation to Tom's memorial service from the Pabst Theater


The invitation to Tom's memorial service from the Pabst Theater

Some 500 people were at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee last night for the memorial service to honor the late Pabst house manager and our former President, Conclave planner and HQ volunteer, Dr. Tom DuBuque, DDS.  Tom was killed in a car crash in South Africa on August 15.

We are proud that more than twenty THS folks attended including Board Secretary Lowell Angell from Honolulu and Board members Dave Syfczak from Chicago and Don Bohatka from Milwaukee.  Archive Director Kathy McLeister and office assistant Freeda Cannon were also there as was Dr. John Kiesendahl from Kansas City (a dentist colleague) and many volunteers who knew Tom. THS executive director Richard Sklenar spoke of Tom’s extended family of “cousins” from many organizations (rail fan, sweepstakes, LHAT, arts groups), Tom’s many roles in THS,  and brought words from THS president Karen Colizzi Noonan.

Other speakers included representatives from the Pabst, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Special words were heard from Samir Wahab the Pabst engineer and friend of Tom there for 38 years, and Chris Segedy, assistant house manager and longtime friend, and Broadway actor John Michalski and attorney Wayne Lueders, both boyhood school friends.

Musical interludes including “Simple Gifts” came from singers with the Florentine Opera Company.  The audience sang along to “Mama Mia” and “Circle of Life” from The Lion King.

A continuous photo slide show projected on a giant screen on stage and on the lobby TVs featured some twenty images of Tom from various THS Conclaves.

To conclude Chris Segedy presented Tom’s manager’s tuxedo to the THS Archive where it will join the uniform collection.

All were then invited for food and drink including charbroiled baby lamb chops and cheese stuffed figs and lots of “Tombay Sapphire” gin gimlets, Tom’s favorite cocktail.

It was a fitting and fabulous send-off to a fabulous man whose life touched many and who is especially remembered by his THS friends.  Bon voyage, Tom, on yet another journey. (RS)

Don Bohatka, John Kiesendahl, Tom's tuxedo, Lowell Angell, Richard Sklenar at Tom's Pabst Theater memorial service


  1. “On yet another journey”… yes, looking at it from that perspective does bring a sense of comfort. But we will miss you always, Tom.

  2. Gary Parks

    Sounds like a wonderful tribute event. I am so glad to hear about Tom’s tuxedo going to THS. It is a reminder that Theatre History is a living thing. Tom indeed made theatre history, on so many fronts.

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