Commodore Thomas A. Lothian, 1928 – 2015
It is with sincere regret that I inform you of the death on May 14th of Thomas A. Lothian. Between the time he joined our Yacht Club in 1964 and his retirement from committee work more than 40 years later, Tom inspired us as a volunteer, as Commodore, and as a member whose leadership within the Lake Geneva Yacht Club and the Geneva Lake Sailing School affected us all. We have lost an important figure in our history and today, as we remember him, we are reminded of our loss when Tom’s wife Carol Ann died in 2006 after many years as a member of the Race Committee and more than two decades as Executive Secretary. We are grateful for their commitment, and we extend our sympathy to their sons Tom and Jack and their families.
Tom Lothian had been a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago and, in 2010, retired after eight years as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.
Tom and Carol Ann sailed a Comet in Ohio before joining our club. Initially, Tom raced with Michael Sherin in their Class E Partner-ship, then sailed in Class C for many years. Tom was Chief Judge in 1969, and in the decades that followed served on the House Committee (Chair), Race Committee (Chair, Principal Race Officer), Judges Committee (Senior Judge), Budget and Finance Committee, Membership Committee, and as Chief Scorer. He was LGYC Secretary in 1971. Within the Inland Lake Yachting Association he was Race Officer and Associate Judge.
Tom was elected Commodore in August 1973 and served for two terms—a period highlighted by the celebration of our centennial in 1974, the 100th running of the Sheridan Prize race, the publication of our history, and our tenth hosting of the ILYA Annual Regatta. He was a Sheridan Prize Trustee during his years as Commodore and a member of the Board of Directors from 1978 to 1983 and in 1990 and 1991. At the Sailing School, he was Treasurer and a Director for many years.
In recognition of his outstanding service, Tom Lothian received the Marie Kramp Award in 1983. In 1990, he and Mike Sherin received the Marie Kramp Award together for their major contribution, starting in 1989, when they teamed up as what became known as the T & M Construction Company and helped prepare the newly acquired property of the Geneva Lake Boat Company for Sailing School and Yacht Club use. In appreciation, the 1991 yearbook was dedicated to them both.
In his message to the membership in the Yacht Club’s centennial book, Tom Lothian referred to our club as “an accumulation of the efforts of its members.” He saluted the Race Committees and Judges who ensure good racing, the donors of trophies, the “less conspicuous members” who volunteer for work parties, and the officers of the ten previous decades who “held the stewardship and set the course for the Yacht Club.” We join together today to honor and thank Tom for his stewardship as Commodore and for the role he played in setting our course.
F. Terrence Blanchard
Friday, May 22: Visitation from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Toynton Funeral Home, 328 Kenosha Street, Walworth, Wisconsin. Saturday, May 23: Visitation at 10:00 am, services at 11 am, United Church of Christ, 46 Stam Street, Williams Bay, Wisconsin