Thomas David Gazda, 92 of Carlinville, died on July 11, 2021, at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. He was born on December 2, 1928, in Thayer, IL, the son of Thomas A. Gazda and Mary B. [Wargo] Gazda. He married Beverly J. (Ibison) Gazda at St. Benedicts Catholic Church in Auburn on June 21, 1952.
Thomas was a 1946 graduate of Virden Community High School. He served in the U.S. Army WWII in the early occupation of Japan. Thomas attended Purdue University and graduated with honors in 1951 with a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering. He began his career as a designer of bridges for the Illinois Division of Highways in Springfield.
In 1954, he and his family moved to Dixon, IL where he became an associate engineer with the Willet, Hofmann Consulting Engineers. Mr. Gazda was a licensed structural engineer, licensed professional engineer, and a licensed land surveyor. He was involved with bridge design on the Interstate Highway Program at its beginning on I-74, and designed many bridges on local systems in Northern Illinois including the Blackhawk College Bridge in Moline and the Sandy Fork bridge over the Vermillion River near Streator, IL.
He was also a designer of water and sewage and road projects while in Dixon. Thomas served on the library board in Dixon and participated in the planning of additions to the library which is on the National Register as the library where Ronald Reagan studied.
In 1967, Thomas was appointed county engineer of Macoupin County and he and his family moved to Carlinville. While county engineer of Macoupin County, Mr. Gazda, in partnership with Mr. Georgeoff of Montgomery County, built a processing plant to use waste coal products from the Coffeen Generation Plant. The final product called Possolanic Concrete was used as base material to construct and reconstruct about 25 miles of road in Macoupin County.
In 1974, Mr. Gazda served as State President of the Illinois Association of County Engineers. Mr. Gazda was a member of the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, the Illinois Association of County Engineers, the Elks Club of Dixon, and the Knights of Columbus. Thomas was a lifelong Catholic and a member of Saints Mary and Joseph Church in Carlinville.
Upon retirement in 1995, Thomas worked on his flower garden, did home improvements, and enjoyed spending time on the computer and traveling with his wife.
In 2005, Thomas completed research on the genealogy of his family and his wife Beverly J. Ibison’s family and then proceeded to publish a book for all his family members. His wife Beverly and his five children, 13 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren were the joy of his life.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Beverly J. Ibison Gazda; son, Dr. Thomas D. Gazda (Susan), a psychiatrist in Scottsdale, AZ; son, Michael A. Gazda (Rochelle) an engineer manager of Electrical Consulting Inc in Litchfield Park, AZ; daughter, Mary Kay Murphy (Bryan), a business woman in Villa Park, IL; son, Matthew C. Gazda (Dodie) who owns and operates Gazda Insurance Agency in Carlinville; and son, Mark L. Gazda (Amy) CEO of Propel Doors an automatic door opener for pole barns which he patented in Chatham; four brothers, George (Lola), late Andrew (Sandra), Lawrence (Linda), Charles (Amy), and George is a retired Professor at U of Georgia where he has written many books on counseling. The other three brothers are professional civil engineers.
Visitation will be held on Friday, July 16, 2021, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at SS Mary and Joseph Catholic Church in Carlinville. Mass will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the church with Father Michael Haag officiating. Burial will be at New Calvary Cemetery in Carlinville. Memorials may be made to SS Mary and Joseph Catholic Church. Davis Anderson Funeral Home in Carlinville is in charge of arrangements.