Thomas Alan Fishbein, 67, of Highland Park, Illinois passed away peacefully at home in the early morning of May 18, 2016 after a series of long illnesses. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, and friend, as well as a lawyer, public speaker, writer, artist, and animal lover. From their days of sneaking their cats onto the Michigan football stadium field to adopting two pairs of cats and several dogs throughout the years, Tom and his wife Claudia brought many four-legged family members into their home over the past 47 years. Most recently, Tom loved his Beagle, Snuggles, who passed away in 2011, and his Spaniel/Hound mix, Rusty, who was adopted four years ago from Tails of Hope.
Tom was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 19, 1949, the first of nine children of Alene and Richard Fishbein. Tom’s five sisters and three brothers saw him as a role model, always looking to him for sage advice. Tom made life fun for everyone who knew him. He met his wife, Claudia, in Ann Arbor on February 2, 1969, while they were students at the University of Michigan. College sweethearts, they affectionately called each other “sweetie” for the next 47 years. On February 4, 1973, they were married in Dearborn, Michigan, later settling in the Chicago area.
Tom’s joy in life was raising his children and spending time with them and their families. His eldest son, Robin, is a math genius and amateur pianist. Robin married Jennifer (née Keast) in summer of 2014, and their daughter Marion Rose was born in March 2016. Tom’s son, Ben, returned to the US after several years abroad to found a company and has been Tom’s closest companion and YouTube co-star. Tom’s youngest son, Teddy, performed in the Marching Hundred at Indiana University and now leads a digital marketing team for a major healthcare system. Teddy married Tiffany (née Walker) in summer of 2008, and their daughters Adalyn Walker and Quinn Walker were born in April 2011 and March 2014. Tom’s daughter, Allison, became a strong, independent woman at a young age, first blossoming as a champion swimmer and later working in education and the non-profit sector.
Tom took great pride in his children’s achievements and interests, reveling in both the little and big things. From math competitions to scholarships to calzones to acting to music to chess to swim records to low-budget productions and much more. He supported his children through everything. His life was devoted to providing the best for them; his life was a major success.
A celebration of Tom's life will take place on Wednesday, May 25, between 3:30pm and 7:30pm, at Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd, Highland Park IL 60035, with visitation starting at 3:30pm and reflections starting at 6:00pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Tails Of Hope in his memory.
We are forever responsible for that which we tame.