Car Racing 04

Thomas Lee Purdy

July 1, 1953 ~ July 27, 2022 (age 69)

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On July 27th, 2022, Thomas Lee Purdy peacefully passed away of natural causes. 

Tom was a lifelong resident of Appleton. He attended the University of Wisconsin, where he was a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. He served in the US Army’s 4th Infantry. He was a lifelong entrepreneur, beginning with obtaining his commercial real estate license in his early 20’s. 

He owned, developed and/or was the managing partner of numerous businesses, including Janus Ski & Specialty Sports, many commercial real estate ventures, CAP (an insurance data management company), 19 Hardies  restaurants, 14 Famous Dave restaurants, 2 Baskin Robins ice cream stores, 2 Grand Central Shell gas stations, Green Power Technologies, and Schlafer’s Supply (an industrial hardware company).

He was the managing partner of Apple Hill Farms Development, with which he designed and developed a sprawling 1,000 acre high-end residential neighborhood that is one of the finest in the state of Wisconsin.  

Tom was the son of Bruce and Barbara Purdy. Like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he was a devoted supporter of many charitable organizations in the Appleton area, and was well known for his person to person gracious acts. 

When his sons were growing up he coached youth soccer teams.  He was on the board of directors of the YMCA, Northshore Golf Club and Innisbrook Golf Resort for many years, contributing his time, money and business experience.  He was a member and supporter of Ducks Unlimited.

He had a passion for fast cars, and started vintage racing in the 1980s with a V-12 E-Type Jaguar. He was well known at his two favorite racetracks, Road America and Black Hawk, frequently running near the lead or winning in his 1966 Corvette Stingray. 

For many years he was an adventurous scuba diver and golfer, traveling to the far reaches of the world to explore the depths of the sea and play rounds of golf.  He had mischievous sense of humor, constantly looking to surprise and delight people with his taunts and quips. He was a kind and loyal friend to many in Appleton and elsewhere. 

He is survived by his three sons, Bruce, Roy and George. 

Tom was laid to rest in Appleton’s Riverside Cemetery on August 1st, 2022, with close family members in attendance and with military honors. There will be a grand celebration in his honor this coming September at a date to be determined.   

Anyone wishing to honor Tom’s life with a charitable contribution, two possibilities are the Bruce B. Purdy Nature Preserve at the Apple Creek YMCA or the Purdy/Weissenborn Lab in the Paper Discovery Center of the Paper Industry Hall of Fame.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Lee Purdy, please visit our floral store.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Thomas

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