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Thomas F Pick

Dec 15, 2020

Thomas F. Pick, 90, died peacefully in his suburban Chicago home surrounded by family on December 13, 2020. Tom, an investor and philanthropist, was adored by all who knew him and very devoted to his family. His many friends treasured his business acumen, intelligence, honesty, loyalty, generosity and delightfully quirky sense of humor. He was a gardener, a fisherman, a master barbecuer, a fine player of bridge and poker, a sailor and a stargazer.

An alumnus of North Shore Country Day School, he graduated from Amherst College in 1952, cum laude in organic chemistry. After college, he served as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1955, working in military intelligence aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Oriskany as it patrolled the Pacific. Back in Chicago, he worked as an investment manager with A. G. Becker and other firms, retiring in 1997 from Everen Securities.

He gave generously to countless cultural, civic, scientific and environmental organizations in Chicago and farther afield. At Amherst College, the Pick Readership in Environmental Studies honors him and his wife; together they also created the 26-acre Pick Preserve for environmental education on Sanibel Island, FL. Other favorite causes included the Sanibel Music Festival, the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Tom had served as trustee of Michael Reese Hospital and board member of the Merit School of Music.

He was the beloved husband of Sue Novitsky Pick, his wife of 60 years, and the adored father of Nancy Pick (Lawrence Douglas), Sarah “Sally” Pick, Elizabeth “Betsy” (Dr. Guy) Kochvar, and Charles (Jackie) Pick. He was grandfather of Jacob and Milo Douglas; Andrew and Steven Kochvar; and Jackson, Logan and Kyra Pick. He was the brother-in-law of Richard (Lynn) Braman. Tom’s sister, Mary Pick Hines, passed away only three weeks before he did, a sign of the deep bond between them.

He was also predeceased by his parents, Frederic G. and Frances Pick; his brother-in-law, Harold H. Hines; and his sister-in-law, Judith N. Braman.

He was a devoted uncle to his niece Anne Hines Young and his nephews, Dr. William H. and David Hines, and Lawrence and Todd Braman. We are deeply grateful for the loving caregiving of Debra Saulsberry, George Luczyk, Alexandra Garcia, Ofelia Rocha and Beatriz Rioz.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution in his memory may be made to: Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (donorbox.org/donate-to-sccf), or the Chicago Botanic Garden (Chicagobotanic.org/donate/tribute). We wish him, as he often said from his Navy days, fair winds and following seas.