Thomas Joseph Effinger, 74, of Rensselaer, Indiana passed away at his home on Saturday, June 17, 2017. He was born in Winamac, Indiana on June 17, 1943, the son of Carl Joseph Effinger and Hilda R. (Reutebuch) Effinger. He was a lifelong area resident.
He graduated from Rensselaer High School with the Class of 1961 and served in the Indiana National Guard and Army Reserves as a non-commissioned officer from 1963-1969.
On July 9, 1966, in Remington, Indiana, he married the love of his life, Carolanne (Williams) Effinger. She preceded him in death on April 21, 2016.
He was a graduate of Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He went on to attend Indiana University in Bloomington where he graduated with his master’s degree in education. He was also a graduate of the Indiana State Principal’s Academy in Indianapolis. He was a lifetime member of both the Saint Joseph’s College Alumni Association and the Indiana University Alumni Association.
Tom was a teacher and principal for the Rensselaer Central School Corporation for 38 years, retiring in 2003. He served as the Superintendent of Parks for Rensselaer from 1967-1992. After his retirement, he was a grant writer for Rensselaer from 2003-2010.
Tom devoted his life to the community. He served on many boards for the city, schools, and other civic organizations. He was a Distinguished Fellow of Saint Joseph’s College; an active member of Saint Augustine Catholic Church; a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus; a member of American Legion Post #29; auxiliary member of VFW Post #1279; member of the Rensselaer Community Recreational Development Corporation; member of the National Park Board; and a member of the Jasper County and Indiana Retired Teachers Association.
Tom is survived by his loving family: one son, Joseph G. Effinger (wife: Michelle Taylor Effinger); two daughters: Julie A. (Effinger) Martin (husband: Max Brady Martin) and Jennifer A. (Effinger) Mars (husband: Mark H. Mars); four grandchildren: Cameron Mars, Stephanie Martin, Alonzo (AJ) Martin, and Michael Joseph Effinger; one great-granddaughter, Lilian Roze Mars; one sister, Theresa J. Effinger; and two sisters-in-law: Janice K. (Williams) Evans (husband: Bill Evans) and Anna (Williams) Dimmitt (husband: Harold Dimmitt).
He was preceded in death by: his parents, Carl J. Effinger and Hilda R. (Reuthebuch) Effinger; and his wife, Carolanne (Williams) Effinger.
A Funeral Mass honoring Tom’s life will be celebrated on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. (CDT) at Saint Augustine Catholic Church in Rensselaer. Father Don Davison officiating. Interment will follow at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
Friends are invited to visit with the family prior to the Funeral Mass on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 9-10:45 a.m. (CDT) at Steinke Funeral Home of Rensselaer.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s memory may be made to: Gibault Children’s Services, Saint Augustine Catholic Church, and Saint Augustine Catholic School. Share memories and condolences online at www.SteinkeFuneralHome.com.