Thomas John Heriaud, 76, of Oswego, IL passed away on June 6, 2022, surrounded by his family. Tom was born on December 19, 1945, in Aurora, IL the son of Earl and Loraine (Brady) Heriaud. He graduated from Oswego High School Class of 1964. In 1969 he married the love of his life Patricia Weiss; they spent the next 53 years together. For 33 years, he was a dedicated employee at AllSteel in Montgomery and later went on to work at Gordon Flesch for 20 years. He was a member of the Aurora/Yorkville Moose Lodge 2371 for almost 50 years. At a young age, he adopted the love of Karate from his beloved older brother Fred. This passion for karate would span the rest of his life.
Tom’s family was his greatest source of love and joy. He and Pat built a life together camping, traveling to family or martial arts events, playing cards, and enjoying the grandchildren’s events. He taught his daughters how to navigate the world with grace, humbleness, acceptance and loyalty. He had limitless enthusiasm for watching his grandchildren in their many talents. He never missed an event. Tom also loved his siblings, aunt, cousins, nieces and nephews and enjoyed the large Heriaud family gatherings. Tom always made time to celebrate life with those he loved.
Tom spent his entire adulthood in the martial arts community. It shaped him into the man that so many people loved and admired. In the early 70’s, he began instructing at the YMCA in Aurora and Plano. Later he owned and operated the American Academy of Martial Arts in Naperville with long time Karate friends Tom and Rosie Letuli. He was a producer, promoter and referee for Weekend War Kickboxing and the Midwest Circuit. He also had the rare privilege of refereeing World Kickboxing Title Fights. In 2008, Tom earned the highest honor in karate when he was inducted into the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He devoted his life to the art and touched the lives of so many while doing so. He considered those that he practiced with, learned from and instructed to be his extended family. They were his purpose. As the Grandmaster of Isshin Shorinji Ryu Okinawa Te, Tom confidently passed the mantle of leadership to Scott Francis.
He is survived by his beloved wife Patricia; daughters, Kim (Craig) Brown and Jennifer (Jim) Delaney; grandchildren, Ryker, Carissa, Morgan, Evan, and Grifen Brown and Keegan, Wes, and Gavin Delaney; siblings, Vernice (Bob) Beach, Charlotte (Dick) Jacobs, Gene (the late Karen) Heriaud, Joe (Lynne) Heriaud, Sue (Dave) Plum, Lee (Becky) Heriaud, Neal (Ann Platzer) Heriaud, June (the late Steve) Ballard Jim Heriaud and Nan (Jeff) Hansen. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law Gene Weiss and Dave (Diane) Weiss as well as numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Fred, Edward and Al (Starla) Heriaud.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022 at 1:00 PM at Dieterle Memorial Home, 1120 S. Broadway Ave. Montgomery, IL. Visitation will follow from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Memorial Home.
Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Tom Heriaud “No Student Left Behind” Scholarship Fund for students that may not be able to afford the Martial Arts. https://paypal.com/paypalme/SupportTheDojo
American Kidney Fund
For directions and online guestbook visit www.dieterlememorialhome.com