Thomas J. Machura June 12, 2009

We were saddened to learn of the death of our classmate, Thomas J. Machura in Galesburg, Illinois on June 12, 2009. Following a long and successful career as an insurance underwriter, he and his wife Nancy retired to Galesburg, Illinois, a smallish town southwest of Chicago, the city in which Tom grew up and lived for most of his adult life.

Tom was born in Chicago on September 16, 1938 to John and Martha Machura. In 1956 he graduated from Mt. Carmel High School and matriculated that same fall to Dartmouth College, graduating with most of the rest of us in June, 1960. Following Dartmouth Tom served three years as an officer in the United States Navy before returning to Chicago to begin a forty year career as a successful insurance underwriter. In May of 2002 he retired and shortly thereafter moved from the city to Galesburg, Illinois to enjoy the greater peace and simplicity of the smaller town living.

Tom was raised in the Catholic Church and remained active at St. Barnabas Catholic Church during his years in Chicago. Tom’s interests in his adult years ran to reading and music. His most keen reading interests focused on World War II. In music his special joy was classical music, particularly the compositions of Mahler. Throughout his adult life Tom remained physically active and disciplined, walking at least three miles daily until sideline by his illness.

Tom was known and appreciated at Dartmouth for many things, not the least of which was his whimsical poetry frequently published in the Daily Dartmouth. His friend and classmate, Cliff Anderson recalls with special delight a poem published in the Daily D which both entertained us undergraduates and took to task the athletic powers that held sway in those days. In his poem, “The Difference”, he wrote:

I heard them gather on the quad

To cheer our winning football squad.

Our team had beat Cornell that day

By seventeen points to their dismay.

But still it causes me a pain –

They’d flown back by aeroplane.

The soccer team had also played,

But in a bus their trip they’d made.

Would it be apropos to say

“Well, one team worked. The other? Nay!”?

Was one team cool, the other hotter

In fighting for our Alma Mater?

You’d answer “Yes”…My big toe!

A thinking man would answer “No.”

I’ll tell you why one bussed, one flew

(I’m sure deep down you always knew):

Along with stocks and bonds and crimes,

The GRIDDERS make the New York Times.


Tom is survived by his wife, Nancy and was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Ann who died in 1983, and two brothers and sister. May his soul rest in peace.