Tom Toth Inducted 2023 - Class of 1974
Tom went to work for Ford Motor Company at their Maumee Stamping Plant after graduation. He spent most of his career in the Materials, Logistics and Planning Department until he retired after 33 years.
Ford and the United Auto Workers Union offered many opportunities and during his tenure, Tom was trained as a New Employee Orientation Facilitator, UAW/Ford Retirement Facilitator, served a term as UAW Local 1892 Education Committee Chair, volunteered with the United Way Committee, and was a guest Lecturer for Penta County UAW Ford Education Center.
Tom received an award from Local UAW 1892 Veterans Committee for service to Veterans. He was also recognized by the UAW/ Ford Education Department for being one of the few employees to earn a master’s degree while in their program.
Tom worked his way through school while at Ford. He started at the University of Toledo in the Fall of 1974 as a dual major in Journalism and American History. While at UT, he worked at the campus radio station WERC as a news writer and announcer and was also a University of Toledo Collegian Sports Photographer.
Tom helped restart the University of Toledo Judo Club and served as President of the club. He competed in the sport of judo under the tutelage of the late Anthony Owed. He competed in six US National Championship tournaments, USA National Ladder tournaments, six Ohio State Championship tournaments, the Great Lakes Tournament, and the Canadian National Open Tournament where he was a Bronze Medalist.
After Ford Motor Company and the UAW agreed to start an education program for workers at Lourdes College, now University, classes were brought into the Maumee Stamping plant, and so Tom transferred to Lourdes and finished his bachelor’s degree there.
Upon his graduation from Lourdes, Tom returned to UT to earn a Master of Liberal Studies in History.
Tom earned a second master's degree from Tiffin University. He completed a Master of Science in Criminal Justice (with Honors and Great Distinction) with a specialty in Homeland Security and was awarded an honors medallion at graduation.
Tom later did post graduate work in Public Policy Administration in Homeland Security. He set it aside to spend time with his mother as she fought a terrific although losing fight against cancer. He still hopes to publish his dissertation “How Does the Concept of Homeostasis Apply to Homeland Security and the Defense of the Nation?”
Over the years Tom has volunteered as a baseball, softball, and basketball coach. He has been a Scoutmaster, Explorer Advisor, and District staff member. In 1996 the Commodore Perry District (formerly the Toledo Area Council) awarded him the District Award of Excellence.
Tom is a member of the 388th Bombardment Association Group “Fortress for Freedom”, the UAW, the Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association Committee (currently serving as both the Vice Chair and the Publicity Chair), and the Woodward Stadium Support Group. He is a past member of the United States Judo Federation, United States Judo Association, and United States Judo Incorporated (the designated national governing body of the USOC for the Olympics).
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Point Place. I am the sixth child of seven.
Who were your best friends at Woodward? Bill Harrison, Donald Koralewski, Danny White, Dennis, and Don Sankovich.
Describe an amusing event (s) that happened to you at Woodward? One of the more amusing events that happened at Woodward was getting painted white by Laura Pinkley while we were repainting the Tattler office and my replying in kind. Filling the main office with balloons with the band kids–the band kids were so much fun to hang with.
What teachers had a profound effect on your life? Elaine Markopoulos – Smart, classy. She cared for her students. "One of two certified journalism instructors in the state of Ohio during my time at Woodward. She was known to pay for supplies and the cost of printing the Tattler herself. She taught her students how to ask questions and find sources which helped prepare me for college.
Frau Winnifred Frischman – very gentle and patient lady. She was held in Germany during the Second World War. Her eyewitness accounts of her life in a foreign land were an eye-opener.
James Gardner- extremely smart, generous, kind, and patient.
Leo Florkowski – He was Kotter before Kotter. He Inspired me to study history in college.
James Bounds – loved to argue.
David Mc Murray – made you think about social issues and defend your point of view.
Ray Attie – funny, he worked hard at teaching science.
Roman Kondalski – A very patient man trying to teach knuckleheads geometry.
Bill Shupe- He cared on the inside, gruff on the exterior.
Richard Hoffman – teacher, director, scholar.
Please share some of your favorite memories of Woodward. While attending Woodward I played varsity football, was a member of the German club, the Aquatatis Literary Society, served on Student Council as a homeroom representative, had a great time in the German club, and worked on the Tattler as a photographer. Some of my more memorable G-rated memories from Woodward were: Assemblies-the band playing, cheerleaders and majorettes performing and Mr. Geis ringing the victory bell, battle ball, my teammates, the Tattler darkroom, helping on the Senior Auction with Rose Sobecki, playing football out in front of the school after games, hockey games at Tam O’ Shanter, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Angelo’s, and my Senior prom with Kathy Romanczyk.
How do you feel when informed of this honor? Humbled, very humbled. I even teared up– but then I have been known to be a softie.
Are you married? I have been married for 45 years. I met my wife Mary at the UT radio station through my friend Jack Kyer. I fell in love with her on sight, and it took me a good month to ask her out. Since that time, through good times and bad she has always had my heart. I try to remember in my prayers my friend Jack for introducing me to her.
I have four good, strong children- Thomas, Marisa (Josh), Will, John and four beautiful grandchildren Emma, Lily, Jack, and Wyat.
What do you do for fun?
I still dabble in photography. I write. I do research and sometimes I help veterans find their military records. I work with the Hall of Fame which some of my children might say isn’t a hobby but an obsession. I also have recently started volunteering as a Citizen Archivist for the National Archives. Occasionally, I will pick up a paintbrush and damage a perfectly fine canvas.