OSHKOSH - Dr. Thomas Stanzel Laudon, of Oshkosh, Wis., passed away on Jan. 1, 2017, at his home on Lake Winnebago. Tom was born on June 14, 1932, in Sac City, Iowa. He lived a life of adventure and exploration that took him to every continent on Earth. Tom graduated from Madison West High School in 1950 and received B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Tom served two years of active duty in Japan as a member of the USAAF as well as 25 years in the ready reserves as an Air Force Academy liaison officer; he retired with the rank of Major.
On July, 4, 1956, he married Suzanne Hilgers of Madison. They celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2016. In 1963, Tom accepted a job at UW-Oshkosh as the second geology professor in the department. It was a job he would love until his retirement in 1999. During his tenure at UW-Oshkosh, Tom established a renowned geology summer field camp. Over the course of 35 summers, he led hundreds of students through the Canadian Rockies to the Yukon Territory. He passed to his students his knowledge of geology, passion for the outdoors and mountaineering, and love of cheap whiskey, cigars and campfire revelry. Academic research played an integral component to Tom's career taking him around the world including the UK, Mexico, the South Pacific, the Himalayas (Mount Everest), Australia. Beginning in graduate school, he traveled to Antarctica 10 times going as far south on earth as one can go, the South Pole. Fellow Antarctic explorers named Mount Laudon in his honor.
Beyond academia Tom loved hunting, fishing, golf at the Oshkosh Country Club, his winter home in New Mexico, and bemoaning the play of the Badgers and Packers. Tom was the oldest living member of the South Side Ice Yacht Club.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Lowell and Florence; and his brother, Richard. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne; brothers, Robert (Linda) and John (Linda); children, Katherine Laudon (Chris Lidstone) of Fort Collins, Colo., Julie Chan (Ed) of San Diego, Calif., Leslie Laudon (Kurt Burris) of Sacramento, Calif., Carolan Laudon (Eric Leonard) of Lakewood, Colo., and Joseph Laudon (Rachel) of Bozeman, Mont.; and grandsons, Andy, Dan, Isaac, Connor, Wyatt, Riley and Jack.
A memorial reception will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, at TJ'S HARBOR, 7098 Highway 45, Oshkosh, WI 54902 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Donations in his memory can be made to the UW-Oshkosh, Laudon Family Geology Scholarship. Online condolences to the family may be made at www.seefeldfuneral.com.