Island Cremations & Funeral Home ~ Merritt Island, Florida ~ 321-454-3331

Obituaries

THOMAS J MCARDLE II

July 31, 1952 - September 4, 2020

The family is asking for donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in lieu of flowers.

Tom passed away peacefully at home in the embrace of his wife on Friday, September 4, 2020.   He will be missed by many.  In an impromptu bedside celebration of his life prior to his passing, he was described by some of his closest friends as one of the most genuine men that they knew.  He was a loving husband, puppy daddy and Umpah.

Growing up as an Air Force brat, Tom was able to see many of the awe inspiring natural wonders of this country.  With each new assignment his father pulled up stakes, loaded the family in the car, hooked up their camper and took the road less traveled to their next destination. His family camped, fished and hunted in the wilderness of Alaska where he rode his snowmobile to school.

While in Alaska, Tom’s passion for HAM Radio (WB4FJS) and Boy Scouts was born.  He would wait by the train tracks and flag down the train to take him to his scout meetings.  His passion for scouting lead him to become a Scout Leader even though he had no children.

As a high school student in Colorado Springs Tom discovered his talent in radio broadcasting and was a key member of the school’s radio station team.  This passion would become his early career, taking him to commercial broadcast stations in Colorado, North Carolina and Florida.  While moving east to a new station he met up with an old high school buddy living in New Orleans where his on-air name “Tom Collins” was born.  He brought this personality to the Cocoa radio station WKKO, where he worked as a DJ, Program Director and became a part owner.  While with WKKO he broadcast many Apollo and Space Shuttle launches for which he received multiple awards.

While with WKKO, Tom developed his passion for computers.  He purchased one of the early Radio Shack personal computers, a TRS80, which he used for radio station business.  Out of necessity, he began to write his own programs.  This led him to pursue his degree in Computer Programming which would transition him onto a new career path.

While working in the computer sciences field Tom worked at Kennedy Space Center.  As an aerospace/aviation lover it was a dream come true to be a part of America’s pursuit of space exploration.   He subsequently worked in the healthcare field, for the City of Titusville and retired from the Brevard County School Board.

Throughout his life Tom was a private pilot and logged countless hours flying across the country and regularly meeting his close friends at small airports throughout Florida for lunch.

After retiring Tom and his loving wife were able to embrace his wandering spirit and traveled extensively.  They enjoyed cruising, RVing, visits to the mountains of Colorado and North Carolina and, his favorite destination, Alaska.  Tom’s love of astronomy lead them to a lakeside campground to view the total eclipse where they experienced the wonder of nearly 3 minutes of mid-day darkness.

Tom was a tender, loving husband and soul mate to his wife, Suzy, with whom he spent the last 15 years of his life.  He was embraced as a member of her family was able to experience the joys of holding their grandchildren for the first time and watching them grow up.

Tom touched countless lives and has left his imprint on many hearts.  To say that he will be missed does not come close to describing the void that he has left.