Thomas N. Gretz, 101, of Sheboygan, passed away peacefully early Monday morning on June 7, 2021, with his daughter, Lori, at his side.
Tom was born in Cleveland, WI, on January 28, 1920, the son of John and Teckla (Hoffman) Gretz. He attended schools at St. Wendel in Cleveland, St. Boniface and Lincoln High in Manitowoc – graduating from Lincoln High School in 1937. After high school graduation, he attended the University of Alabama as an air cadet.
On June 13, 1941, he married Elizabeth “Betty” Day at St. Wendel. Together, they raised three children, Sandy, Terry, and Lori. They also helped raise their grandsons, Michael and Mark. Betty preceded him in death on December 2, 1997.
Tom entered the Army Air Force in 1942 and was a commissioned officer and served with the 90th Bomb Group of the 5th Air Force completing 38 combat missions in the South Pacific. Following World War II, he continued service in the Air Force Reserve, retiring as a Major in 1971. He was awarded the Air Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Asia Pacific Theatre Ribbon with 5 Battle Stars, American Theatre Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Battle Star, and the World War II Victory Medal. Tom was very proud to have had his name added to the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial alongside his son, Terry, who served in Vietnam.
When Tom was growing up, he worked for the family business – Gretz’ Bar & Ballroom, formerly the Tourist Inn in Cleveland. After selling his shares in the business, he began to work for the US Postal Service as Postmaster and retired in 1981.
Tom was a true gentleman. He was kind, compassionate, thoughtful, and unpretentious. While he was proud of service in WWII, the worst day of his life was when he had to send his son, Terry, off to Vietnam.
Tom enjoyed travelling, was an avid sports fan attending Packer games for well over 50 years. World Series and All-Star Baseball games. In his later years, he greatly enjoyed watching the Brewers and the Bucks. He loved big band music (especially the Stan Kenton Band), attended many big-name concerts, and every local music festival that he could - especially if there was beer!
Tom was proud of his routine of working out until the age of 94 at the YMCA. He was a Horizon Club Member.
Tom was a member of St. Clements Church, the Cleveland VFW, the Historical Association of Retired Federal Employees, the National Association of Postmasters, the Greater Milwaukee Area of Retires Officers Association, and the 90th Bomb Group Association.
Tom will be deeply missed by his significant other, Genevieve Regan, who he shared the love of music, adventure, and travel with. Tom is also survived by his children, Terry (Robin) Gretz and Lori Gretz; grandsons, Michael (Gabrielle) Munson and Mark (Misty) Munson; four great-grandsons, Thomas, John, Cole, and Jack; and many other relatives and friends.
Tom is preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his daughter, Sandy, who passed away recently in August of 2020; and his siblings.
Tom was fortunate enough to be able to remain in his own home until the last few days of his life thanks to the vigilant care of his youngest daughter, Lori, who moved home from Zurich, Switzerland, in 2011 to care for him.
Tom’s family would like to thank the staff at Aurora Memorial 2k Staff and Lori’s friend, Anne, for always being there to assist Lori when she needed help with his care.
A memorial service will be held for Tom on June 15, 2021, at 2:00 PM at Ballhorn Chapels. A visitation will be held from 1:00 PM until the time of the service.
Tom will be inurned next to his wife and daughter, Sandy, at Calvary Cemetery after the service. In honor of his military service, Military Honors will be performed.
Please visit www.ballhornchapels .com to leave a message of sympathy for the family.
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