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Sophie M. Thom (nee Pluta)

Sophie M. Thom (nee Pluta) Obituary Photo Bruskiewitz Funeral Home

Passed away Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at the age of 90. Sophie was preceded in death by her dear husband Carl. She will be greatly missed by her children James (Shelley) Thom, Margaret Gagliano, Mary Catherine (William) Nitkowski, Constance (Edward) Rockey and Christopher (Leah) Thom and by her beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sophie is survived by her sister Alice Kniewel, sisters-in-law Rose (Jack) Bell and Carol Pluta, brother-in-law Frank Wisniewski and many dear nieces, nephews and friends. Sophie is welcomed into Heaven by her parents Matthew and Anna Pluta, sister Stella Wisniewski, brother Chester Pluta, sister-in-law Elaine Pluta, brother-in-law Albert Kniewel and mother-in-law Pearl Thom. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Sunday, July 22 at 4 PM at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 12700 W. Howard Ave., with visitation from 2 PM until the time of Mass. Entombment St. Adalbert Cemetery.

For many years, Sophie taught anatomy, genetics and embryology at Mt. Mary College where she served as president of Kappa Gamma Pi.  As a member and a past president of Polanki Polish Women’s Society, Sophie worked at Holiday Folk Fair and at Polish Fest.  During the summers of the 1980’s and early 90’s, Sophie taught teenagers in Poland for UNESCO.  This time period covered Poland’s transition from communist domination through Lech Walesa’s courageous “Solidarity” movement.  In 1993, Sophie received Mount Mary College’s “Madonna Award” and Pope John Paul II  conferred the Apostolic Blessing upon her for her service to youth and education.


  • Barb Tylenda says:

    I have forgotten many of the teachers I had through the years, but the name of Sophie Thom jumped out at me from the page of the paper today. By the time I returned home from work I already had an email from another Mount Mary grad who had noticed our dear anatomy teacher as well. A wonderful down to earth woman and teacher who actually made anatomy fun. Added to this, I remember Shelley from our days at St Veronica. Mrs Thom to we students led a long full life. But no matter how old we or they get it is never easy to lose a parent. Please know that you are in the thoughts of many.

    Barb Tylenda

    • Connie Thom-Rockey says:

      Thank you for the kind e-mails about my mom. She brought happiness to many people. Hers was a life well-lived!

      Connie Thom-Rockey

  • Wendi Halstead says:

    So sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.

  • Karin Lorenz says:

    My condolences on your loss. I would like to quote from a sympathy card that her daughter, Connie had sent me when my mother passed earlier this year. It had a picture of an oyster shell with a pearl and said: “Every passing life leaves something beautiful behind”. This is certainly true in the achievements and descendents of Mrs. Thom.

    Karin Lorenz

  • Lois M. Sippel says:

    I have so many wonderful memories of Sophie from my childhood back on 44th st. What a wonderful neighbor to have as a child. She was always so kind to me whenever I came knocking at her door to play with Connie. She always welcomed me in to her home and had something nice to say to me. I remember the years and years of “Bridge Club” with the other ladies and her coming over to have long chats with my mom. Sophie had the sweetest smile and used it to make everyone who knew her feel good. She was a true gem and will be so missed. My condolences to you all at the loss of this very special person.


  • I had the wonderful opportunity to have both your mother and father as teachers at Custer High School, Milwaukee. I had Sophie in chemestry class and Carl in band and music class in the late 1940s. I loved them both. I’m happy she led such a fine life. My thoughts go to all of you in this time of grieving. You have had wonderful parents. Sincerely, Russell Reinhardt

  • Deb Hojnacki says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Deb Hojnacki

  • Paul Dobrogowski says:

    Sorry for your loss.

  • Roxanne Nawara says:

    My sympathy to Sophie’s wonderful family. I just learned recently of her passing.
    I had the honor of meeting and teaching with Sophie Thom at two of the UNESCO language camps in Poland in the mid 80’s.
    She was a wonderful, wonderful leader, teacher and greatly influenced me to love all things Polish. Her grace, humor, energy, enthusiasm and love of Poland and Polish people will stay with me forever. She was just an amazing, kind and sweet woman, and I have admired her so much–still with me after all these years and continues to be one of my heroes in my life. Blessings to Sophie and her family.
    Roxanne Nawara
    Minneapolis, MN

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