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Thomas's Story

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Thomas C. Cusack, of Joplin, Mo., passed away Friday, March 2, 2018, at his home following a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Eyes filled with life and boundless curiosity, Tom was an example for his family to step in and experience life. Generous with his time with family and loved ones, with his community and with his church, Tom was always a welcomed smile. He was sensitive, easy to laugh and had a calm and sound presence with genuine kindness for everyone. Tom was a steady and humble pillar of strength in his family and his community.
Born in Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 5, 1933, to Thomas J. and Rose (Cox) Cusack, the family relocated to Joplin in 1945, where Tom attended St. Peter's School graduating in 1951. Tom then attended the University of Arkansas. He was the recipient of a four-year baseball scholarship and enjoyed much success during those four years as a pitcher for the Razorbacks. He graduated in May 1955 with an accounting degree.
Tom married Geneva Genser, of Joplin, on Jan. 29, 1955, at St. Peter's Catholic Church. They made Joplin their permanent home following his graduation and following a six-month assignment with the United States Army.
Tom obtained his CPA and practiced as a partner in his father's CPA firm, Thomas J. Cusack Company. He would later operate his own CPA firm and was a partner with BKD, in Joplin. He served as an adjunct instructor in the business department at Missouri Southern State University.
He was actively involved in politics his entire career serving in many capacities with the local, regional and state Democrats. Tom was elected and served two terms as Jasper County auditor and later held the role as the Democratic coordinator for the local and county party. He served as a Missouri delegate in the 1976 election.
Tom served on the board of directors for many organizations in the Joplin area and state-wide. Among the local boards, Tom served the Salvation Army, the Joplin Blind Association, First State Bank, the Missouri Southern State University Foundation, Joplin Museum and others. He was a member of the Sertoma Club. He was a member of the Missouri Society of CPAs and he served several terms on the Missouri State Board of Accountancy.
He was a devoted husband and father. Tom invested hundreds of hours teaching and coaching his six children the games of ping pong, baseball, tennis and basketball and just as many hours water skiing. Tom enjoyed his time coaching other children as well as his own in youth baseball.
Tom had a strong faith and was actively involved with the parishes of St. Mary's and St. Peter's throughout his life.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and by his son, Thomas P. Cusack.
Tom is survived by his wife of 63 years, Geneva; their daughters, Margaret (Parker) Reed, of McKinney, Texas, Elizabeth Cusack, of Bella Vista, Ark., and Jennifer (Carrie) Cusack, of Camarillo, Calif. He is survived by two sons, David Cusack, of Joplin, and Philip (Karen) Cusack, of West Hills, Calif. Grandchildren, Brian (Sara) Reed and great-grandchild, Keaton, of Little Elm, Texas, Jessica (Joey) Penna and great-grandchild, Charlie, of Little Elm, Parker Reed, of Los Angeles, Calif., Jared Cusack and Camille Cusack, of West Hills, and Neil DeGondea, of Bella Vista. He is survived by his two brothers, Michael (Mary Jane) Cusack, of Joplin, and Larry Cusack (Larry Downard), of Portland, Ore.
Visitation is 5:30 - 7 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary, in Joplin. Rosary will be held on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the mortuary. On Monday, March 5, a Funeral Mass will celebrate his life, beginning at 10 a.m., at St. Peter's Catholic Church, with burial following at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Contributions, in Tom's memory, may be made to St. Vincent DePaul and the Outreach House of St. Peter's.
Arrangements are under the personal care and direction of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary, Joplin.
Published on March 4, 2018
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