Thomas J BorgerMarch 22, 1948 ~ November 7, 2017 (age 69)
Thomas J. Borger, 69, of Elkhart, Indiana, entered into eternal peace November 7, 2017 surrounded by his loving family.
Tom is survived by his devoted wife Elizabeth (Liz) Naquin Borger, his beloved mother Dorothy R. Borger, his daughter Dr. Sara (Kurt) Koerwitz of Fishers, Indiana and his two sons Thomas (Kristina) Borger of Bristol, Indiana and Brian (Margot) Borger of South Bend, Indiana, as well as ten adoring grandchildren. Tom is also survived by his brother Jim (Ruth) Borger of Gainesville, Florida and sisters Ruth (Don) Gizinski of Canton, Georgia and Kate (Steve) Wall of Altadena, California, along with his nieces and their families. He was preceded in death by his father Edward R. Borger.
Tom was born March 22, 1948 in Lafayette, Indiana to Dorothy and Edward Borger. After his father’s graduation from Purdue University, the family returned to their roots in Elkhart, Indiana where Tom became a lifelong resident. His early education was at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School followed by four years of study at Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Tom then attended the University of Notre Dame graduating with a degree in Architecture. He was a proud member of the class of 1971 – where he, with his classmates, pioneered the one-year study abroad program in Rome. As a result of their unique time together in Italy his class of architects has retained a special bond for almost 50 years. From their adventurous year in Italy, the program has now grown to become the renowned Notre Dame School of Architecture – Rome Studies Program.
Following graduation from Notre Dame, Tom began his architectural career in Elkhart, Indiana. His imprint is found on buildings and homes throughout the United States but is most evident in his beloved hometown. In his 43-year career as a licensed architect, general contractor and real estate developer, Tom has made a significant contribution to the fabric of the place he called home. Early projects with Borger Jones Leedy included the design of The Elkhart Central Fire Department, the Civic Plaza and the redevelopment of the old Police-Fire Station now known as Franklin Station. These are accompanied by several major buildings along Main Street. With Borger Pletcher he developed Amberwood Hills and Amberwood East in Bristol, Indiana. In recent years, with his son Tom as his partner in The Borger Family of Companies, he led work on the Indiana University – Elkhart Center and other buildings along Elkhart’s beautiful RiverWalk such as the McCarthy’s restaurant building, Watkins Family Dentistry, The First State Bank building, Riverwalk Law across from Island Park and Thor Corporate Headquarters. As much as Tom loved the art and the creative aspect of his work, it was the friendships he developed with his numerous clients, partners and employees that provided his greatest professional enjoyment.
Tom cherished his time with his family and friends which included travelling to their beautiful cabin in Northern Michigan and around the world. Tom’s greatest hobbies were golf and Notre Dame football and basketball. His love of Notre Dame was shared with his wife, two sons and brother, all graduates of the University as well as several brother and sisters in law. The entire family joined Tom in cheering on the Irish and sharing the sport of golf. He enjoyed all things related to the history of the game of golf which led to his passion for collecting memorabilia related to the sport. Tom was proud to be a longstanding Director of the Western Golf Association and an advocate for their prestigious Evans Scholar program which provides opportunities for young caddies as they further their education.
Tom spent great time and thought in the service of others and betterment of his community. He was consistently involved in various charitable organizations throughout the years, including Rotary as well as countless civic initiatives. He and his wife Liz made one of their most significant contributions by assuming the enormous personal risk and potential international liability while navigating the gift of G. David Gundlach back to Elkhart, Indiana. This gift, along with Tom’s beautiful buildings and his wonderful family will transform this community forever.
Tom was enormously proud of his daughter’s role as a physician and appreciative of her care and guidance throughout his health challenges. He was also beautifully served by Charlene Vickers who worked with Tom for over 30 years and provided much care at end of life.
In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to The Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation, the Northwestern University Brain Tumor Institute or Premier Arts.
Please join the family to celebrate Tom’s life starting with a visitation at Hartzler Gutermuth Inman Funeral Home, 403 W. Franklin St., Elkhart Indiana 46516 on Thursday November 9 from 3 p.m.to 7 p.m. Those wishing to pray the Rosary may join the family at 2:30 p.m. prior to the viewing.
Father Jack Wall along with other concelebrants will officiate the Mass of Christian Burial at 3:30 p.m. Friday, November 10 at The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, Indiana. A brief visitation from 2:30 to 3:15 will precede the mass. Tom will be interned at Cedar Grove Cemetery at The University of Notre Dame at a later time.
And Tom would gladly close this with . . .. Go Irish!