Tom McGurk, a strong, reserved, family man, star natural athlete, successful businessman, and community stalwart

Categories: Spring 2022
P6A McGurk basketball
Number 45 – “Center” Tom McGurk

Thomas (“Tom”) A. McGurk, Jr., a three-year letterman in basketball at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, from 1966-1968 ranks third in school history in rebounds per game, seventh in career rebounds, and fifteenth in points per game.  He earned second-team all-Indiana Collegiate Conference honors in 1967 and 68 and was also a member of the Indiana College All-Star team which played in Kentucky in 1968.  McGurk was co-captain of the 1967-68 team which was the Indiana Collegiate Conference co-champion and played in the National Collegiate Athletic Association College Division tournament.  McGurk was awarded the Fred C. Tucker Memorial Plaque which recognizes the senior player who contributed most to DePauw Intercollegiate athletics.  He also received the Most Competitive Player Award, conferred by his teammates, in his sophomore, junior, and senior years.  If you would ask McGurk about his college background, he would tell you only that he played center on the DePauw basketball team even though he is “only” 6 foot 7 inches tall.  He would state that he played basketball because it was fun.  You would have to dig through DePauw yearbooks and do some internet research to find out any “stats” on the self-effacing Tom McGurk.

At DePauw, Tom was also a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and earned a B.A. degree in

P6B McGurk Jan and Tom
Tom and Jan McGurk

economics.  He met his wife Jan (an English major) while they were both students at DePauw.  They married several years after graduation.

Tom’s boyhood friends say that he is a “chip off the block.”  His father, Tom, Sr., a member of the Greatest Generation, was a pillar of the Covington, Indiana, community.  His mother, Marceline, was a teacher, active in her community, devoted to her family and friends, and remembered for her generosity, thoughtfulness, positive attitude, and “servant’s heart.”  After graduating from college, Tom went to work in his family business, Interstate Sand and Gravel, with his father.  They purchased “Steel Grip” within a few years, and Tom went to work in the new endeavor so the family would be involved in the business.  Steel Grip is a personal protective clothing manufacturer headquartered in Danville, Illinois.  In three different plants, the company manufactures clothing, such as protective apparel for electrical workers, foundry gloves to protect workers who deal with molten metal, and other specialty gloves and apparel.

P7A McGurk Family
The McGurk Family

It is easy to understand why family is of paramount importance to Tom McGurk.  He and Jan are the proud parents of three children (now adults) and the grandparents of four granddaughters.  Son, Drew, is a grain farmer (corn and soybeans) and also raises cattle in the Covington, Indiana area.  As Tom was involved in the family business, his own family is also involved in the work at Steel Grip.  Drew’s wife, Tamiko is in charge of the accounting department at Steel Grip and has taken over many of the day-to-day responsibilities Tom has held.  Tom feels that “Good people do good work if you stay out of their way.” Drew and Tamiko have two children. Olivia, a student in college in Bozeman, Montana, and Glennys, age 14. Their younger son, Kyle, has two daughters, Maya, age 14, and Nora, 11.  Kyle runs the manufacturing side of Steel Grip.  The McGurk’s daughter, Shannon, is a Speech Language Pathologist at the Bill Wilkerson Center of Vanderbilt University and resides in Nashville Tennessee.

P7B McGurks outdoors in winter
Tom and Jan enjoying the out-doors.

Tom is a skier and golfer and finds the greatest pleasure in the company of family and friends; he enjoys spending time in their second home in Montana (the state where his parents were married before his father shipped out to Europe with the Army during World War 2).  There, he and other male friends relax, ski, and tell each other “whoppers.”   Tom’s and Jan’s love of travel has been repeatedly derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic with cancellations, rescheduling, cancellations again, and rescheduling again. They are scheduled soon to visit the beaches of Normandy and to tour and golf in Ireland and Scotland.

As was with his parents, service to others is also an integral element of Tom McGurk’s life.  He is an active member of his community, serving on multiple boards, such as the board of the Covington Community Foundation, Salvation Army board, Danville Area Community College Foundation, and the board of directors for the Bank of Western Indiana, but he seldom can be found wearing a necktie.

Almost two decades ago, Tom had a friend diagnosed with prostate cancer; his friend did research and found Dr. Catalona.  The friend had a good outcome, so when Tom found himself in the same boat, he also contacted Dr. Catalona.  Tom’s treatment was also successful, and he has referred friends and acquaintances to Dr. Catalona over the years.  Tom found Dr. Catalona to be considerate and thoughtful, willing to spend time with patients. He commented that Dr. Catalona is always willing to call someone, whether they are a patient or not.  After Tom’s surgery, Dr. Catalona asked him to serve as Treasurer of the Urological Research Foundation.  Tom thought about it and wanted to repay Dr. Catalona’s courtesy.  After the death of long-time URF president, Tony Sansone, Tom became President of the URF Board.  He stated that “no one could replace Tony.  He was a one-of-a-kind, a nice gentleman, and a good person.”

Tom brings his integrity, experience, and other strengths to the Urological Research Foundation board.  His intelligence, drive, modesty, and loyalty underpin the goals of the Urological Research Foundation to support Dr. Catalona’s research program.

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