/ Obituaries / Thomas Edward Leja

Thomas Edward Leja


Thomas Edward Leja, age 68, of Woodruff, passed away from complications of COVID-19 and cancer on Friday, May 8, 2020 at Arden Courts of Palos Heights, Ill. 

Born Dec. 31, 1951 in Chicago,  to Edward and Antoinette (nee Halerz) Leja, who preceded him in death, Tom was raised on the southwest side of Chicago and graduated from St. Laurence High School. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Illinois at Chicago and taught at Curie High School for several years, also coaching basketball and baseball. Tom also worked as an analyst at Sears and after retiring early to Northern Wisconsin in 2000, he spent the remainder of his career working at Ace Hardware in Woodruff, which he loved and continued to visit weekly after he retired.  

Tom loved the Northwoods, especially fishing and sitting on the deck with friends in the summer. A lifelong Chicago Cubs, Bears and Bulls fan, he loved getting to watch all of their games over the last year while in memory care in the Chicago area and spending lots of time with his family, especially his daughter.  

Tom is survived by his daughter Lori (Randy) Milanowski, sister Nancy (Rory) Gallegos, brother Joe Leja, niece Natalie Gallegos, great-nephew Sean Ruckman, and nephews Rory Jr. and Eddie (Paige) Gallegos as well as a large extended family.

A virtual memorial service will be held Saturday, May 16 at 11 a.m. (CST) on Zoom, officiated by Father Rick Holy. Please contact the family for information about attending the Zoom memorial. 

In Lieu of flowers please donate to one of the following in Tom's honor:

Northwoods Wildlife Center https://northwoodswildlifecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Memorial-form.pdf

Heartland Hospice Fund https://heartlandhospicefund.org/



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