Memorial Opportunities For Dr. Tom Kwak
On November 19, 2021, our community tragically lost a cherished colleague, friend, & mentor, Dr. Tom Kwak. Tom made a positive & lasting impact on many of our lives and will be sorely missed. He left behind his wife, Danielle Pender (who is also an NCAFS member), and two children, Jacob & Alexandra (Alex). Given Tom’s passion for education & his dedication to shepherding thoughtful current & future biologists, we would like to provide an option to return the favor, so to speak, to Tom’s family. The NCAFS Chapter will assist in collecting funds which will then be donated to NC 529 accounts with the College Foundation of NC, which have been set up for both Jacob & Alex. Alternative options for contribution are American Rivers and the Shriners Hospital for Children.
If you would like to contribute to the Kwak college funds, you may use any of the following methods:
- For listserv members, you can mail in a contribution directly to the College Foundation of NC following the instructions provided by Greg Cope’s email from yesterday.
- Electronic contributions can be made through NCAFS via Paypal by clicking the yellow “Donate” button below. During the payment process, you will also be provided with an option to offset Paypal fees if you so choose. Electronic payments, which go into the Chapter Paypal account, will be tracked by our Secretary/Treasurer, Casey Joubert, who will then work with Danielle to transfer those funds to the college accounts after the money has been collected.
- Checks can also be mailed to the Chapter c/o Casey Joubert, 1150 Shore Acres Rd, Salisbury, NC, 28146. Please make checks out to NCAFS & include a note that the check is for the Kwak college funds. We can also accept checks or cash in person at the registration table for NCAFS Chapter meeting in February 2022.
In addition to financial contributions, there are also two upcoming opportunities in Raleigh to participate in honoring Tom’s memory, on December 10, 2021. As shared by Greg Cope:
(1) A Memorial Mass service will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 am at the Sacred Heart Church, 200 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27603. The church is located in downtown Raleigh and there are pay parking meter spaces available on the streets surrounding the church. There are also two nearby pay parking garages; the Green Square Parking Deck located at the corner of W. Edenton St. and McDowell St. and the Municipal Parking Deck located two blocks south of the Church on the corner of S. McDowell St. and Morgan St. This is the church that Tom and Danielle were married in and both of their children were baptized at.
(2) An informal gathering of family and friends from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Montague Lake Pavillion, 10301 Penny Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606. There will be signs marking the entrance and available parking on the grounds surrounding the Pavillion. From 11 am to noon there will be food and refreshments and opportunities to visit with the Kwak Family and with one another. From noon to 1:00 pm, there will be brief remarks from several invited speakers and then from 1:00 to 2:00 pm there will be more opportunities to visit with the Kwak Family and each other.
Thank you for creating this means of donating in Tom’s memory for Jacob and Alex. My friendship with him dated back to the last millennium when we were both research assistants at the Illinois Natural History Survey, I always appreciated his warmth and personality, his passion for fisheries and conservation, and introducing this native Chicagoan to the beauty of the Kankakee River. His passing is tragic, however, what an impressive legacy he achieved in his all too short time here, Prayers and blessings to Danielle and family.