Longtime Brookfield resident Thomas D. Kampschroeder, 66, who left his job in the wine distribution business in 2005 to follow his dream of opening a wine bar in his hometown, died on Dec. 11, 2011 at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.
Mr. Kampschroeder and his wife, Linda, opened the Salt Creek Wine Bar, at the corner of Grand Boulevard and Fairview Avenue in the old Fisher’s Pharmacy building, on Dec. 23, 2005.
After the couple married at St. Barbara Church in Brookfield on Jan. 21, 1967, they moved to Brookfield in 1972 and raised four children. Kampschroeder worked for several distributors in the wine trade before starting his career as a bar owner at age 59.
“I decided I wanted to do something on my own,” he told the Landmark in July 2005, when he pitched his idea to the Brookfield village board. “I’ve seen how a lot of places are run. The kids are grown and it’s time to pursue my dream.”
The Salt Creek Wine Bar continues to be a success in a downtown area that has seen a number of changes since the establishment opened. Live music, wine tastings and local art displays all contributed to connecting the wine bar closely with the community. Linda Kampschroeder is also very active within the Grand Prairie Crossing business organization, and Mr. Kampschroeder was president of the Brookfield Bar Owners Association and a member of the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce.
A wine aficionado, he enjoyed traveling and visited vineyards in France, Italy, California, Washington and Australia. He also enjoyed golfing, gardening and spending time with his grandchildren.
Thomas Kampschroeder is survived by his wife, Linda Kampschroeder (nee Costello); his children, Tim Kampschroeder, Katy (Thomas) Moore, Jill (Dan) Kaspar and Molly (Tom) Renshaw; his grandchildren, Tommy Moore, Gracie Moore, Leslie Moore and Joey Kampschroeder; his brothers, Don Kampschroeder, Roy Kampschroeder and Keith Kampschroeder; his sister, Irene Montanari; and his mother-in-law, Sarah Costello.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 3 to 9 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Home, 3845-47 Prairie Ave. in Brookfield. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 16 at St. Barbara Church, 4008 Prairie Ave. in Brookfield, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.
Memorial donations are appreciated to Community Support Services, 9021 Ogden Ave., Brookfield, Ill. 60513 or CEP Youth Leadership, 4903 Gilbert Ave., LaGrange, Ill. 60525.