WAUKESHA 鈥 Tom Constable believed that great communities are created when their citizens give back their time and talent into them. He spent his life devoted to advocacy and left an important mark in SM天地论坛. Tom died on June 1 at the age of 82.

Tom and Doreen Constable moved to SM天地论坛 in 1981.

"We moved here knowing this was going to be a good place for Tom as far as career. We have grown to love it. It became our home," Doreen said.

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At the time Tom worked at St. Francis Hospital in Milwaukee. He was part of The Wisconsin Society of Hospital Personnel Administrators. He then took a position in Illinois at a hospital before coming back to Wisconsin.

Tom鈥檚 daughter Kim Seeberg said her dad always knew if there was a way for him to connect with SM天地论坛 Memorial Hospital, he would love that. He got an opportunity to work at SM天地论坛 Memorial where he retired from ProHealth Care in 2007 as senior vice president of human resources.

"He had an illustrious career there and ended up leading the entire HR," Kim said.

He loved his career in HR as he got to make a difference in people鈥檚 lives. Tom was able to create policies that made people鈥檚 lives better and he helped define a culture in the hospital that was really employee-focused, according to Kim.

SM天地论坛 was a big part of who Tom was. He was involved with defining what the SM天地论坛 government structure would look like.

鈥淗e was appointed by-then Mayor Carol Opel to the committee charged with searching forms of community government and then potentially recommend a change to the matter of which the city is governed. This is the group that recommended the city administrator form of government in place today,鈥 Doreen said.

Tom was a member of the SM天地论坛 Rotary Club, where he was a key person in the development of River-Fest, a music festival in Frame Park.

Tom was on the Board of Directors for the SM天地论坛 County Historical Society & Museum, the United Way in SM天地论坛 County, Food Pantry of SM天地论坛 County, the YMCA and YWCA of SM天地论坛.

He was involved in the creation of the Les Paul 鈥淕uitar Town鈥 through the historical society.

鈥淗e worked very hard and passionately on that. He loved the museum and he loved Les Paul and all of the history that was connected with Les Paul,鈥 Doreen said.

He had a genuine love for SM天地论坛 and was involved with it in any way he could be.

The making of a mentor

Tom went to college intending to become a special education teacher. He also taught swimming to people with disabilities as a part-time job as he was putting himself through school.

鈥淚 think what he learned was you could be passionate about things in the community and passionate about causes in the community but you don鈥檛 necessarily have to have a job specifically tied to it,鈥 Kim said.

She remembered his engagement with the Food Pantry of SM天地论坛 County. She and her sister Nicole grew up with the pantry being a regular part of their lives. The family would do the food drives and work in the pantry delivering food or filling bags.

鈥淲e grew up volunteering as well,鈥 she said.

Doreen added that Tom was asked to create the bylaws and governance for the food pantry.

Tom was also an adjunct faculty member of then-Carroll College (now Carroll University), where he taught HR courses in the business school.

鈥淗e was the guy who had real practical experience and taught a handful of courses,鈥 Kim said.

Tom loved the idea of mentorship.

Karen Tredwell, former executive director, of Food Pantry of SM天地论坛 County wrote the Constable family a note after Tom died.

鈥淪he sent a really nice note to me that said, 鈥業 think of your dad as an accidental mentor, he just touched the lives of lots of different people and helped people grow and develop. I鈥檓 probably one of hundreds, maybe thousands of people he touched.鈥 I think that is why teaching was good, he could take his practical expertise and he could help people learn and grow,鈥 Kim said.

A good friend, dad and husband

Not only was he a mentor in his advocacy and work, he also mentored his children. They saw how he nourished his friendships and relationships with everyone in his life.

Tom had the ability to make everyone feel special in interactions with him.

鈥淗e taught us to be good people and how to be grateful. He also taught us to have fun. When we were little kids he would take us each out on special one-on-one dates. He would spend time individually with my sister and I.

鈥淭he other thing is he really loved my mom. He taught us what a really great marriage and friendship could look like with your spouse,鈥 she said.

Doreen and Tom were married for 54 years. They met at Tom鈥檚 brother鈥檚 wedding, as her brother was best man. Tom spotted Doreen in an orange coat from across the room and they hit if off.

鈥淚 thought Tom was exceptional from the minute I met him. He was a gentleman; he was fun and loved to dance. We just enjoyed each other,鈥 Doreen said.

Although Doreen pointed out Tom didn鈥檛 call her right away after they met.

鈥淗e dropped me off at home and he didn鈥檛 call, he didn鈥檛 call and he didn鈥檛 call. I was attracted to that because most of the guys I met always called me the next day. Then as we started to date he would call me and when I wasn鈥檛 at home he would ask for someone to ask me to call him. But I never did because I never call guys. It was a fun-cat-and- mouse kind of thing,鈥 Doreen said.

She offered advice for having a long marriage.

鈥淩espect each other. Never ever go to bed without saying I love you. He exuded respect and kindness,鈥 Doreen said.鈥

The family said people can honor Tom鈥檚 legacy by taking time to volunteer.

A gathering will be held at the Krause Funeral Home from 4 p.m.鈥7 p.m. on Wednesday. An additional gathering will be held from 10 a.m.鈥11 a.m. on Thursday at the funeral home. A Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Food Pantry of SM天地论坛 County are appreciated.

Tom and Doreen Constable were married for 54 years. Doreen said her husband exuded respect and kindness.