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Blake-Lamb Funeral Home

4727 West 103rd Street, Oak Lawn, IL

OBITUARY

Thomas E. Salzburg

August 8, 1965May 11, 2020

Thomas E. Salzburg, age 54, passed away peacefully at home with his family on May 11, 2020. His life began on August 8th, 1965, in Chicago, as the youngest child born to Therese (nee Miller) and the late John J Salzburg II. His siblings Dolores (Patrick) Gutkoska, Ellen (Dave) Wieczorek, Eileen (the late Fred) Riebel, Ruth (Bob) Griffin and the late John and Mike Salzburg welcomed their new baby brother into a house full of love.

He began a new adventure in life over 35 years ago as a teen when he met his wife Kelly (nee Crane), and knew the minute he met her she was the one he would marry. They embarked on a crazy, wonderful journey, and filled their home and hearts with love as they started their family. Tom was a beloved father to Amber (Will) Rivera, Tommy Jr. and Ashley Salzburg, and a devoted Papa and Best Buddy to William T. Rivera. Tom was a cousin, uncle, great uncle, bandmate, mentor and friend to many. The number of lives he touched is immeasurable.

Tom was a long-time employee of E.C. Machining, Inc., whose job description included Machinist / Welder / Practical Joker. Tom was an avid Harley Rider, Mopar Fanatic, Extreme Blackhawks Fan, the family’s Mr. Fix-It, Hockey Goalie and Drummer Extraordinaire.

He was humble, kind, generous and passionate in everything he did. He loved his family fiercely; instilling family values, hard work and unconditional love into his children, while treasuring the quiet moments, adventures and road trips with his wife. Although a (sometimes) stern father, his grandson William broke the mold and melted his heart. He could never keep a stone face when it came to his best buddy.

Tom’s flair for fashion meant you could see him coming from a distance, with his signature round sunglasses, cut-off tee and leather pants. His creativity was an inspiration, and he could make anything out of nothing. Tom loved working on his cars and motorcycles, but his true passion was playing drums. He devoted much of his life to his music, despite his sisters trying to hinder his progress by hiding his drum sticks in the early years. His musical career spanned over 40 years, and his passion and love for performing was unmatched when he stepped on stage. He played every show like it was his last, and made sure he gave the crowd a show worth seeing, a fact underscored by his most recent project when he transformed himself into Alice Cooper and brought the stage to life. He was the first to arrive and the last to leave shows – often helping bandmates and sound guys load out as well.

However, Tom’s passion and fearlessness did not stop at the stage. He lived his life ready for every new exciting adventure. He loved the thrill of speed in his beloved Roadrunner, and the open roads and the wind in his face on his Harley. Motorcycle trips, band road trips, vacations, family gatherings and back yard parties were full of fun, laughter and typical Tom antics. If you were blessed to be a friend of Tom’s, he loved you like family. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for his friends, his family and often times complete strangers. Tom lived life on his own terms and faced ALS head-on, with a strong spirit and a sense of humor.

Tom was determined to continue to do all the things he loved until the disease robbed his body of the ability to so. Tom’s energy, smile, laughter, hugs, one-liners, and antics will be missed by all. A memorial and celebration of life is being planned for the future.

A fund has been set up for the family. Donations can be made to: Salzburg Strong; BMO Harris Bank, 101 Burr Ridge Parkway, Burr Ridge, IL 60527, Attention: Jason K. Account ending in 5432. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Tom’s name to ALS Therapy and Development Institute at www.als.net.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Thomas E. Salzburg

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Carl Salvato

May 22, 2020

I grew up with Tommy on Maplewood Ave. My childhood memories with him will always be of playing with our Star Wars figures and imitating KISS both in appearance and performance. Spent many days in his basement playing the KISS Alive II album and acting like our idols. Tom, thanks for making my childhood memorable and full of great stories. You will be greatly missed.

Sherry Carbonara

May 20, 2020

Tom used to call me “Ma” for over 20 years. Back in the early 2000’s, Tom and the other band members of ‘Undaunted’ used to drive far for practice on Sunday’s, where my husband, Mike was also a member. I used to bring down to them snacks, quick little dinners, water bottles etc., so they would stay hydrated and fed. One day, Tom said to me, “Thanks, Sher but Kelly’s making dinner” to which I replied, “That’s nice, eat anyway!” “Yes, Ma!” he said. From that moment on, he started calling me, Ma! All his hugs throughout the years started with a “Hey, Ma!” to which I replied, “How’s my other boy!” I will miss you my “other boy.” Until we meet again....have a great time up there! We love you, and will cherish every wacky memory with you.

Donny (Starr) Kraeger

May 20, 2020

Tom was one amazing person, drummer, and entertainer. I will charrish all the great shows I saw with him behind on the drums or singing in Coopers dead things.
He was always a laugh when he was out with group of friends. His love for his family and friends was more than amazing.
Rest in peace my friend. And blessings to the Salzburg family.

joe minor

May 18, 2020

TOMMY MOPAR
My memories are from the Tattoo days of course..the most pounding, rocking-est drummer I ever had the pleasure to play live with and make records with. A drummer that could even keep steady time!!
So many fun rehearsals, recording sessions and awesome shows (with little Amber in attendance many times!) that overshadowed the long hours of hard work and sweat.
Tom was so passionate about his drums and our music but it was clear to me that Kelly, Amber, Ashley and Tommy Jr were always right up there with him on that Drum Riser of Life...with Will to follow a bit later!
Rock in Peace Mr Mopar...I was truly blessed to be considered your friend. My heart is and will be heavy for a long while.
JOE VALIANT

Scott Jones

May 18, 2020

I only met Tom one time although we were Facebook friends for a few years. I grew up in Merrillville, Indiana, and was very much into the Northwest Indiana/Chicago music scene. Unfortunately I never got the opportunity to see Tom play live, but I met him by chance at a Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets game. My wife bought us tickets a few rows behind the one goal and as the crowd is filing in here comes a guy with black leather pants, shoulder length hair and rings on every finger wearing an Ed Belfour jersey. I told my wife that I knew that guy and she responded by telling me I think I recognize everybody when we go out! *laughs* As it turned out, Tom and a couple of his buddies decided to go to the game in Columbus at the last minute and he happened to have seats one row in front of us. We chatted a bit and he took a couple of pics with me. He was very cool and humble and as nice as could be. I didn’t know Tom as well as a lot of others, but he was definitely a one-of-a-kind person and most definitely an inspiration to all. He will be greatly missed.

Kathy O’Callaghan

May 16, 2020

Accept our deepest heartfelt sympathy. We are very sorry for your loss. Tom will be greatly missed. 💔💔

Brian & Kathy O’Callaghan

Rik Kroll

May 16, 2020

The Chicago area music scene is a much lesser place today.
Rest Easy my friend.
Until we meet again

Christine Mandybur Martz

May 15, 2020

My best friend Doris and I were good friends with the band Tattoo and we sold Tattoo merchandise for them at thier shows. That’s how we first met Tom and Kelly. They fit right in with the Tattoo family. Lots of band road trips, including going to NYC to make their video, backyard parties, Blackhawk games, baby showers when their kids were born, all were made more fun having Tom around. A truer person I’ve never known. He was real, no pretenses, and had the best sense of humor. A great big heart and he loved his family with all of it. I’m heartbroken that such a larger than life person was taken from all of us. He packed a lot of living into his short life and that gives me some solace. Kelly, Amber and Will, Tommy, Ashley, And little Will, I’m wrapping my heart around you all. My heartfelt condolences to all who loved Tom.
Christine Mandybur Martz

Don Salzburg

May 15, 2020

I watched Tom growing up being his cousin. He always showed respect. Then he found his calling in the music world, and made me feel proud to be related. And when he met Kelly, He was always happy. Then became a Dad 3 times and a grandfather. I never heard an unhappy moment in his life after that. I will always Miss this Man...! I believe in Heaven, and they must have needed a strong minded, great natured. Trusting Guy. He went to young. Hope to see him again!

Martim Freedom

May 15, 2020

I was privileged to have known Tom for many years and to enjoy his musicianship from the early days and throughout that time. I was also privileged to have been able to work with him as a sound tech as recently as last June and the year before at the same festival. He was fantastic as always. We had great conversation as he took down his drum set and afterward. I will treasure those memories and I offer my deepest condolence and well wishes to the family.

FROM THE FAMILY