The theatre world recently lost one of its finest gentlemen, Thomas Allen Gauthier. Back in the days of live theatre, Tom could be spotted in just about every audience in town and around the state. He deeply loved and respected the art form and its practitioners, and had been on a quest to see 100 live performances per year. If not for pandemic-darkened theatres, he may have reached his goal this season, too.
Next Act had been a recent beneficiary of Tom’s presence, not only in our seats but sitting on the Board. After serving for a couple of years, he stepped into the officer role of Treasurer. He already had experience for the gig as he was also providing financial guidance for his church, Grace Lutheran in Thiensville. In fact, at Tom’s memorial, the pastor mentioned one of Tom’s signature traits, his love for spreadsheets. It seemed that almost any problem could benefit from an analysis by spreadsheet.
The Grace Lutheran pastor went on to describe Tom Gauthier’s essence: decent, kind, generous, courageous and humble. Tom was a faithful adherent to the Church and carried his faith out into the community through his employment agency he called Adonai Employment Inc. (Adonai translates as “Lord.”) He had helped over 1500 individuals connect with employers through his company.
NAT Board President Dave Anderson had invited Tom to join a couple of years back and in turn, Tom had recruited a new Board member just this past fall, so his legacy lives on. Dave Anderson tells the story of meeting Tom while working out at their mutual gym. Upon their habitual morning greeting, “How’re you doing today?” — Tom’s signature traits of optimism and good humor were expressed in his simple, enthusiastic response, “Fantastic!”
We miss you, Tom; thanks from all of us for being Fantastic!