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Thomas Albert Draffkorn
January 2, 1939 ~ August 8, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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We are sad to announce that our dad, our hero, our role model Thomas Albert Draffkorn of Woodstock died on August 8, 2023. At the age of 84, he was surrounded by his family and left us peacefully to the sound of his favorite songs often sung on car rides home from our many travels.
Known to his players as Mr. Draffkorn, his friends as Tom, and his grandchildren as Papa, we will miss him greatly.
Our dad was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, and friend to many. He proudly snuck into the world 19 minutes earlier than his twin brother, Jerry, and was the son of Frank and Marion (Quall) Draffkorn. Our dad began his life in Chicago, moved to Palatine with his brothers Frank and Don, sister Marianne, and partner in crime, Jerry. They landed in a place he loved called Woodstock.
Dad attended St. Mary's grammar school and graduated in 1957 from St. Mary's High School, where he played football, basketball, and ran track. Upon graduation, he worked in his father's printing company, American Litho Arts, in Chicago.
Feeling a need to serve his country, Dad joined the Army in 1962 and was stationed in France. He was proud to receive a Sharpshooter Badge and, of course, a Good Conduct Medal.
After returning from overseas, his best friend set him up on a blind date with Janice May. In true Dad fashion, he then stated after seeing her, "I'm going to marry that girl." Tom and Jan were engaged after 3 months and married in 6 months on September 12, 1964 in Johnsburg. Our parents created a happy family of 4 children: Dan, Carole, Renee, and Rick. Dad taught us kindness, compassion, respect, and a crazy work ethic.
As our family grew, so did our dad's love. He welcomed our partners Jennifer, Bob, Tom, Julie, Alison, and Ashley. Dad was "Papa" to 14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren who had the opportunity to go with him on tractor rides, fishing adventures, and camping trips.
Dad shared his passion for competition by becoming the Athletic Director at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Woodstock, coaching boy's basketball and girl's volleyball. He coached his sons in Woodstock Little League Baseball and supported his daughters at every softball game. Although an amazing coach, he was most noted for doing donuts in the St. Mary's parking lot after snowy practices and frequent trips to the Dairy Queen after a win!
When he wasn't helping others, Dad enjoyed duck hunting, fishing, mowing his lawn, and taking care of his flowers and tomatoes. He was a prolific storyteller, and in true honesty, some may have been exaggerated!
Dad was full of life, had a contagious positive attitude, a great sense of humor, and had the best smile. Loving him was easy, missing him will be hard.
We will be celebrating Dad's life on Monday, August 14th at Schneider, Leucht, Merwin, and Cooney Funeral Home in Woodstock from 3-7 PM. Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 15th at 10:30 AM at The Church of Holy Apostles, 5211 Bull Valley Road, McHenry.
If you care to donate in our dad's honor, memorials may be directed to St. Mary School Athletics Department.