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Thomas Andrew Carlin of Brandon, FL died on October 10, 2022. After battling the progressive complications due to poor health, Tom was ready to move on to the next chapter in hopes of enjoying being bellied up to a heavenly bar.  He was 80.

Born in Chicago on May 16,1942, Tom grew up in the city and excelled at baseball. He advanced to the minor league and played catcher in the Dodger’s organization. Tom left baseball to enlist in the Navy, and he served mostly in the Western Pacific. This experience sparked Tom’s interest in cooking, and he learned first-hand to prepare authentic Chinese cuisine which his family greatly enjoyed through the decades. As a young veteran with a brilliant mind, Tom entered UCLA  and upon earning a Bachelor’s degree in business, his professors advanced him directly to a Doctorate-level program. He left the university setting just shy of completing his PhD requirements; even so, Tom was the smartest person in just about any room. Tom married Kim Heuszel, and they welcomed their daughter Kellie. Years later, Tom married Carlene Hotz and subsequently adopted her four young children. Tom and Carlene blended their families as many do, but Tom also manifested his character, love, discipline, and drive for excellence in the way he rose up to be the father of Carlene’s children.  Carlene instructed him in golf, and that new hobby quickly shifted to a shared passion and pastime. Tom and Carlene spent many years involved with golf, playing the local courses, entering and/or running tournaments, traveling with groups, and volunteering for charity events. After the tragedy of their oldest son Carl being killed by a drunk driver, Tom and Carlene turned pain and grief into purpose and positivity. They founded the Carl Carlin MADD Memorial Golf Tournament, and their efforts raised well over $100,000 for the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Also, in the aftermath of Carl’s death, Tom felt compelled to follow his long-time entrepreneurial dream of starting his own business. Tom represented commercial roofing manufacturers, and with his knowledge, work ethic, and tenacity, Florida roofing manufacturers recognized him as a state-wide subject matter expert. Upon closing the doors of his business and retiring, Tom stayed active with friend social circles, gourmet clubs and the occasional golf round, but he especially enjoyed reading and engaging with his growing grandchildren. He liked to challenge them with worldly, historic, and geo-political conversations…and slip them a few bucks, too!  Later as teens and college students, the grandkids knew Papa would make time for a lunch meet-up, offer wisdom, and extend encouragement for the road ahead.

Tom was preceded in death by his love and wife Carlene and son Carl Joseph.  He is survived by two daughters Kellie and Melissa and two sons, Chris and Curtis. Tom has six grandchildren: Tannis, Alicia, Jonathon, Sammie, John, and Nicholas, as well as three great-granddaughters: Mary Catherine, Charlotte, and Amelia. The immediate family will gather for a private remembrance over Thanksgiving weekend. In lieu of flowers, the Carlin family requests that you honor Tom by making a contribution to your local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

13 Comments

  • Judy
    Posted October 21, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    Will miss Papa Tom so much! Sorry for all the family and friends. He was always so kind and loving to me ( the stray). Always made me feel Truly welcome and always seemed to manage a smile! Love and prayers to all.

  • Valesca E. Lopez
    Posted October 21, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    What a beautiful life story of a remarkable gentleman. Tom and Carlene are blessed in Heaven now and in the company of each other.
    Always in our hearts
    Neil and Valesca

  • Misuk and Tom ledda
    Posted October 22, 2022 at 5:42 am

    God Speed Tom

  • Jaja
    Posted October 22, 2022 at 10:23 am

    What a beautiful peak into your father’s journey Curtis. I wish I knew him on that deeper level to have those intellectual conversations. He leaves a powerful legacy, who for sure will joyfully sprinkle his teaching to many. Many blessings to you and your family. Big hugs – Sonja

  • Allyson Ludewig
    Posted October 22, 2022 at 3:12 pm

    A special man. We certainly appreciated his guidance as we embarked on our own entrepreneurial adventure. A true friend. Rest well, Tom.
    Love, Allyson & Sid

  • Lisa Gudath
    Posted October 22, 2022 at 5:58 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’m sending warm thoughts and prayers to the family. My thoughts and memories are wonderful. Your dad was genuinely kind and thoughtful and I’m grateful to have known him. He always made me feel welcome. He always made me feel like he was glad to see me. I enjoyed both he and your mom ‘s company so much and they also threw a great party.

  • Lisa Gudath
    Posted October 22, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’m sending warm thoughts and prayers to the family. My thoughts and memories are wonderful. Your dad was genuinely kind and thoughtful and I’m grateful to have known him. He always made me feel welcome. He always made me feel like he was glad to see me. I enjoyed both he and your mom ‘s company so much and they also threw a great party. Lisa

  • Diana Garmon
    Posted October 24, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    I have so many wonderful memories of spending time with both of your parents. I don’t think you could have had better parents.
    I am so sorry for your loss. They will be sorely missed by all.

  • Diana Garmon
    Posted October 24, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    I am so blessed to have many wonderful memories of spending time with your parents. They were both tremendous people.
    I am so sorry for your loss. They will be sorely missed by all.

  • Anonymous
    Posted October 26, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Melissia, I am sorry for the loss of your father. Be blessed by his many memories. Sending prayers for strength and comfort.
    Marie metz

  • Baarb Arnot
    Posted October 26, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    Prayers to our cousins. We are sending all our love and hugs to you all.

  • Lisa McNatt
    Posted October 27, 2022 at 10:55 am

    When I look back on Robert’s years playing soccer with Jonathon on the Brandon Flames, I always think of Tom. There on the sidelines with all the parents with a big smile on his face, sharing encouragement and praise for the kids working so hard on the field. He never missed a game that I can recall, and I so looked forward to talking with him and just enjoying his steadiness and his positivity. He was so kind, so loving, and will always be remembered in my house as one of the best parts of those weekends. I am so very sorry for your loss but I am so glad that you got to call him yours. He was truly one of a kind.

  • Jamie Anderson
    Posted November 24, 2022 at 11:18 am

    Love to you all!! I think of you often 💕💕my sincere condolences.

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