Thomas Eugene Wisshack, 64, of Galesburg, passed away Sunday August 3, 2014 at his home.
He was born on October 10, 1949 in Macomb, the son of Dr. Eric Wisshack and Lina Knoel. Surviving are three sisters, Ann Kamano, Galesburg, Judy-Margaret (Steven) Bauman of Indianapolis, IN, and Susan (Gerald) Hanning, Lodi, California. Also surviving are eight nephews and nieces and numerous grand nephews and nieces.
At a young age Tom salvaged scrap lumber from building sites to build a club house and lemonade stand, rarely being seen without a hammer and saw. This interest in wood continued into adulthood, resulting in a career in furniture building and antique furniture restoration. Tom graduated from Galesburg High School in 1967.
His education in fine woodworking started in Macomb with an apprenticeship with woodworker Mr. Snyder. It continued with several trips to Switzerland, Germany, and England where he studied period furniture in museums. He also studied and worked in restoration methods using hand tools. At his uncle’s shop in Basel, Switzerland he learned guilding and frame making.
He was an artist-in-residence at Austin Peay University in Tennessee for a summer. He was an artist-in-the-school in Galesburg for several years, teaching youngsters basic woodworking skills. He taught art at the Quaker High School in Iowa City.
Although Tom was known primarily for his antique furniture restoration, he also was very artistic in painting and ceramics and whimsical wood construction. The latter were shown at two GALEX exhibitions.
He wrote numerous articles for the magazines Fine Woodworking, Woodwork, and Popular Woodworking, where he wrote a regular column on finishing techniques.
Cremation rites have been accorded. There will be a graveside service at Memorial Park Cemetery, Saturday September 20, 2014 at 10 a.m. Officiating will be Fr. Stevan Bauman of “Joy of all who Sorrow” Orthodox Church of Indianapolis. All friends are invited to attend. Cremation rites have been entrusted to Watson-Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.watsonthomas.com. Memorials may be made to the Galesburg Civic Art Center.