Obituary for Thomas Barlow
Thomas Alfred Barlow 9/12/46 — 1/9/18
Thomas Alfred Barlow was born on the South Side of Chicago, the second son of Patricia M. (Prellwitz) Barlow and Alfred R. Barlow, who loved him dearly. The family left apartment living and city neighborhoods in 1958 when they moved into a new house in Bridgeview. After graduating from Oak Lawn Community High School in 1965, he followed a family tradition on his mother’s side by going to work on the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad. His 27 years on the EJ&E were interrupted by service in the Army during Vietnam, when he was assigned to a transportation unit in Germany. After retiring from the railroad, Tom worked a variety of jobs in transportation and food service until he finally retired for good.
Tom had an artistic side few saw. At times in his life he wrote poetry, and although he was by nature a quiet person, an involvement in drama club in high school gave him a taste for performance. He had a gift for mimicry, especially foreign speech rhythms, and a strong voice. A fondness for Laurel & Hardy gained from his grandfather and fed by watching old Laurel & Hardy shorts on Uncle Johnny Coons at lunchtime provided a life-long supply of dialogue to quote from.
Tom had a focused mind and a tendency to go deep on things that interested him. These included, among others, religion, history, and tobacco. When he gave up cigarettes several years ago, he took up a pipe. A monthly pilgrimage to Iwan Ries became a regular activity, and Tom could talk at length about pipes and tobacco.
Above all, Tom perfected the enjoyment of the little things in life. Whether it was a holiday dinner with family, a walk on a picturesque spring day or a day of riding the local commuter trains and testing some new blend of pipe tobacco at Iwan Ries.
Tom is survived by his partner and husband of 40 years, Steven Beal, who cared for him lovingly until his final breath; by his older brother and sister-in-law, Rick and Janet Barlow of Scottsdale, AZ and by their children, Carolyn R. (Barlow) Behrens and Scott R. Barlow, both of Phoenix, AZ. He is also survived by his Aunt, Shrmarie Ward of Scottsdale, AZ.
He will be missed.
A Memorial Service for Thomas will be held Friday January 12, 2018 6PM – 8PM at the Woodlawn Funeral Home 3201 W Jefferson St. Joliet, Illinois. Interment at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood at a later time.