Former trustee Nowicki dies at 68
Tom Nowicki, former Brookfield trustee and president of the VIP Party, died on Monday at the age of 68.
Nowicki had lived in Brookfield with his wife, Marge, for the past 26 years. He had always been interested in his community, regularly attending village board meetings, and but it was only in recent years that he became directly involved in community politics. He was made president of the VIP Party last year, and in May 2004 he was appointed to the Brookfield village board by Village President Bill Russ to replace Jane Harps, who had recently resigned her seat.
He finished out Harps' term, which ended in April. He ran to retain his seat in the April 5 election, along with a VIP slate that included Russ, but lost in that bid.
Marge Nowicki said her husband's main goals while on the board were to establish a senior center and provide for senior citizen bus service, as well as to restore all of the village's parks. This commitment to senior citizens and children is what his colleagues remember most about his time on the board.
"He was very dedicated to the community," said Brookfield Trustee and fellow VIP Party colleague Linda Stevanovich. "His emphasis was always to the children, as well as programs and issues for senior citizens. He was really a standout guy in the community for those two groups."
Nowicki's family had a significant influence on those interests. The Nowickis raised nine children in Brookfield, and today the family has grown to include 21 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. When advocating park restoration in Brookfield, Marge Nowicki said, he always had his 6-year-old great-granddaughter in mind.
"He loved his town, he loved his family," Mrs. Nowicki said. "He was one hell of a guy."
Nowicki's fellow VIP members had similar praise.
"We all will miss Tom Nowicki," Russ wrote in an e-mail. "His heart was as big as Brookfield and he had a true concern for all of Brookfield."
Russ said that he had spoken with Nowicki early during the afternoon Monday, and that Nowicki "sounded great." Nowicki spent time with his grandchildren that afternoon, but later suffered heart failure. Brookfield paramedics revived Nowicki, and he was taken to the hospital, where he died later in the afternoon.
"I was devastated when I heard the news [of his death]," Stevanovich said. "It's a great loss for the community."
Nowicki grew up in Chicago, and worked for the United States Postal Service for 35 years before retiring in 1994. Nowicki suffered from many health problems over the years, with a sextuple heart bypass 11 years ago and chronic diabetes, which significantly affected his ability to walk.
Visitation will be held at the Johnson Funeral Home, 3847 Prairie Ave. in Brookfield on Thursday. The time for the visitation was not confirmed prior to press time. For details, call Johnson Funeral Home at 485-0214.