Former Quad City announcer Tom Croarkin dies
March 23, 2015
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Tom Croarkin, 65, for many years a top racing announcer, most notably at Quad City Downs, died Monday, March 16.
A bona fide South Side Irishman, Mr. Croarkin grew up in Chicago and cheered for the White Sox and Notre Dame. After completing an English degree at DePaul University, he worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in the south suburbs before moving to Moline, Ill., to pursue his lifelong dream of announcing horse races at Quad City Downs. Mr. Croarkin never missed a call and brought much joy and many winners to the members of his QCD Handicapping Club, where he was assisted by his wife, Marytherese.
In 1988, Mr. Croarkin and his wife moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he worked briefly at Scioto Downs and then Chemical Abstract Service (CAS). He retired from CAS in December 2012 after 23 years of service in varying roles. A gifted writer, Mr. Croarkin shared wit and wisdom with the life stories he wrote as part of his weekly call reports in which he raised everyone "above the rubble” of life. Colleagues honored him by compiling them into a bound book on his retirement.
An active member of St. Christopher Parish, Mr. Croarkin served as sacristan, bulletin editor and contributor, lector, Eucharistic Minister and ministry chair. He loved God, his family, his friends, a good pun, a fine wine, an exciting horse race, and a positive attitude.
Mr. Croarkin is survived by his wife, Marytherese (nee Minster), of nearly 40 years; brothers, David (Joyce); Daniel (Christine); and sister, Martha (William) Brennan; sister-in-law Sharon Carlson and brother-in-law, Dr. John Minster (Peg); and many nephews and nieces: Joseph (Jennifer); Gregory (Marrea); Patrick (Jasmine); Sam; Alex; Michael (Kim); Gerry (Angie); John (Christine); Mark; Elizabeth Saliwonczyk; Kevin; Chuck (Tammy); Matt; Scott (Dawn); Susan Brent; Tricia and Steven Stilts; Mary Bridget (Nick) Wlos; Kathryn (Tom) Phillips; Jim (Connie) Minster; Paul (Cathy) Minster; Steven Minster; Joseph (Lori) Carlson; and Dani Carlson.
A funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, March 24, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Christopher Catholic Church, 1420 Grandview Avenue, Columbus. Burial will be Saturday, March 28, at 11:30 a.m., at Assumption Cemetery, Glenwood, Ill. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Vincent DePaul (care of St. Christopher Parish in Columbus) or Trinity School (Columbus) Altar Server Scholarships.