Thomas S. V. Bartlett, Jr.

  • Born: December 31, 1947
  • Died: April 15, 2015
  • Location: Springfield, Illinois

Lincoln Land Cremation Society

917 S. 7th Street
Springfield, IL 62703
Tel. (217) 523-4646

Tribute & Message From The Family

Thomas Shelley Vallette Bartlett, Jr., 67, of Springfield, died at 10:54 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 peacefully at his home surrounded by family.

Tom was born December 31, 1947 in Chicago, the son of Thomas Shelley Vallette and Louise Reynolds Bartlett, Sr. Growing up, Tom and his family spent a great deal of time in Maine. By age 16, he was working in the summer as a crew member on windjammers (Including the Victory Chimes) off of the coast of Maine. In 1965 Tom graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School and would then attend Hanover College in Indiana for a short time.

In May of 1966 Tom enrolled in the United States Navy and would spend the next 4 years proudly serving his country. He started off in the seamanship gang aboard the USS Piper SS409. During the Fall of 1967, Tom was transferred to the USS Corporal SS346 where he worked as an oiler and eventually an engine man. Aboard this diesel submarine, he would travel the world to such places as the Arctic Circle, France, Spain, Monte Carlo, Scotland, and much more. In recent years, Tom was one of the key factors in reuniting the men of this submarine. With help from other shipmates, he contacted several men that no one had heard from in years and even helped organize a series of reunions. Along with the reunions, he started the website where people could go to learn more about their sub and its history. He would continue to manage this site for his last 10 years.

After being honorably discharged from the Navy in April 1970, Tom moved to Miami for a short time and eventually ended up in Springfield, IL attending Lincoln Land Community College and working two jobs. It is here that he met Jeanette Putting, who would eventually become his wife and mother of their children. In early 1973, the adventurous souls that they were, Tom & Jeani jumped in his van and headed west to California. They would spend the next year traveling around California, living out of his van, and working miscellaneous jobs. Jeani's grandmother became ill which brought them back to Springfield. Tom and Jeani eventually settled up in Flossmoor, IL where they would marry and start a family.

Moving forward, Tom had many great accomplishments and also faced many challenges in his life. Some of these highlights include:

- Lived in Chicago -> Miami -> Springfield -> California -> Springfield -> Chicago -> Strongsville, OH -> Rockwall, TX -> Springfield
- Was married 26+ years (and remained good friends until the very end)
- Raised 3 successful children
- Enjoyed 3 grandchildren (2 in Seattle and 1 in Springfield)
- Raised 4 Golden Retrievers (whom were like children)
- Remained close with his 2 siblings
- Worked as a taxi cab driver, volunteer fireman, and in the Steel Mills in Gary, IN early on
- Chaired the Bi-Centennial Celebration Committee for hometown at Mayor's request
- Held an IL Real Estate Broker's license for 33 years
- Bought & resold 400 residential homes annually for 3 years for major corporations
- Principal speaker at numerous seminars of up to 1,000 people throughout the country (see "documents" photo album for subjects he spoke about and places he spoke)
- Met & spoke with Henry Kissinger at one of these seminars (see photo in album)
- Quoted in the Wall Street Journal (see "documents" photo album)
- Published in numerous trade publications (see "documents" photo album)
- Achieved 89% sales closing ratio at United Van Lines over a 2 year period
- Bid, contracted, & supervised moving the Illinois State Library collection (took 30 days)
- Worked as Budget Analysis for 23+ years for the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services until his retirement in January 2015
- Diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in July 2013 and courageously battled cancer for almost 2 years, exceeding everyone's expectations

Tom had a huge passion for long road trips and all genres of music. He had the opportunity to see many of the greatest bands of all time including:

· Attended original Woodstock in 1969
· Led Zeppelin
· The Who
· Janice Joplin
· Deep Purple
· Cream
· Moody Blues
· The Animals (even partied with them!)
· Roy Orbison
· Crosby, Stills & Nash
· Elton John
· and many more

*Within the first 3-5 seconds of any song before 1980, Tom could tell you the Artist, the name of the song and usually some sort of history about the band or song.

Tom was a family man and would have given the shirt off of his back for his family and friends, never expecting anything in return. He was funny and absolutely loved telling jokes. Tom was detail-oriented, extremely smart, and the most practical person one would ever know. He was also very outspoken & direct but you know he was always being truthful. Thomas, Tom, "T," "Tommy," "Dad," "Grampie," and "Bae Bae," (or any other name one might have called him) will sure be missed by so many but should be proud of the legacy he leaves behind.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his former wife, Jeani Fancher of Mason City; two sons, Thomas S. V. (wife, Sinia) Bartlett III of Seattle, WA and Andrew R. Bartlett of Springfield; daughter, Jessica L. (husband, Steven) Krisfalusi of Springfield; three grandchildren, Katie Bartlett, Wesley Bartlett, and Brendan Krisfalusi; siblings, Boyd (wife, Janet) Bartlett of Fort Collins, CO and Shelley (husband, Don) Small of Castine, ME; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Cremation was accorded by Lincoln Land Cremation Society.

The family will host a Celebration of Life from 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Springfield Motorboat Club, 17 W. Club Area, Springfield, IL 62712.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Animal Protective League, 1001 Taintor Rd, Springfield, IL 62702 or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Life is too short. Let's always remember the good times we shared!

Posted by Vince Veseling - Springfield, IL - friend   April 12, 2021


My greatest sympathy goes out to Boyd and Shelley. Our family spent much time with them in Chicago and then moved to Flossmoor at the same time. Haven't had contact since High School but, kept up with their achievements from Tom's parents. I remember Tom as fun, adventurous and always kind to me, the little tomboy who hung out with them. I always looked up to Tom and he put up with me playing hockey with the guys in their Chicago back yard. He also took me to my first basketball game. I have found memories of Tom and of his siblings. Like you Tom, a fan of golden retrievers. Someday Tom we will have a golden retriever party and I know you will let me tag along and let me play. Janet

Posted by Janet Hoffman - Elgin, IL - friend of family   May 16, 2015

Met Tommy in 1966 aboard the USS Piper. We servered on two boats together. Though we lost contact for about 40 years I never lost memory of him. These last 10 years have been good to have an old friend back in my life. Made several trips to visit with him and will miss like a brother. I loved being able to just chat with him any time about anything just to be in touch. Rest easy my brother I miss you.

Posted by Chris Haley - Wilmington, NC - Life long friend   April 30, 2015

On behalf of the United States Submarine Veterans (On USSVI), we offer our sincere condolences to Jeani and all of the Bartlett family and friends in your loss and sorrow. May God whisper peace into your hearts and comfort and heal them. We are grateful for Tom's service to our country in the U.S. Submarine Service. To our Brother of the Dolphin "Sailor, rest your oar. We have the watch. May you rest in peace and may God bless your loved ones who remain. Thank you for your service to our country." -- Chaplain Bob Reinisch, National Chaplain United States Submarine Veterans, USSVI.

Posted by Bob Reinisch - Idaho Falls, ID   April 29, 2015

Betty and I have some funny and fond memories of life with Tom. They include first hearing Stairway to Heaven, submarine showers , Bucher and Toms's yellow van. Tom and his family will remain in our prayers.

Posted by Vince Veseling - Springfield, IL   April 24, 2015

I knew Tom for only four years, but we built a friendship of caring that was deeper than our surface differences. I knew his heart of love that his bravado couldn't hide.
When we first met, I shared that I had written a book that was on Amazon and I wanted to submit it also in the digital format but I couldn't figure out how to do it. He generously offered to do it - saying he was pretty good at ferreting out information and problem solving. He worked tirelessly throughout the night until it was accomplished. I was so amazed and grateful.
On his first visit to my home, he noticed my outside hose assortment strung together in an attempt to reach my front garden. The leaks were covered in duck tape. Of course, he showed up later with the best hose and dual connectors that money could buy and designed a watering system that could be stretched to all sides of the yard. His problem solving and generosity touched my heart once again.
I celebrate his life and the time we shared on this journey of life. I will truly miss his indomitable spirit, his beautiful voice, his love of music that we shared, and his generous and caring heart that touched my heart in ways that I will always remember and treasure. I trust in the truth that the spirit life continues on for believers and in a short time we will re-unite on our journey. My faith gives me peace while I await the time of our glorious re-union.

Posted by Teresa Bristol - Girard, IL - friend   April 24, 2015

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. 67 sounds so old when we were teenagers but now that I am 66 it does not seem like that is the time for end of life, in fact it is to soon for any of us to be recalled. I kept in touch with Boyd and he told me of the poor health "T" was in. I am glad he did not suffer any longer than he did. Take comfort in the thought "T" is with his family and loved ones who passed before him and you will also see him again someday. John Benshoof

Posted by John Benshoof - Friend   April 24, 2015

Tom was a customer at the restaurant where I work who became my good friend he always was willing to share a meal and a movie . His love of music will always be with he made me a collection of some of his favorites. He was very proud of his children parents and siblings. We spent many hours looking at photos videos and he sharing his memories of them. He was proud of his time in the Navy he shared many photos of hid time spent and the reunions he loved. He loved Shadow and we would go on many rides with her. When he became ill he bravely fought it and as his illness went on he became a gentler person allowing me to rub his back. I will think of him everyday missing his jokes his straightforwardness and honesty he always provided me a safe kind place where I was always spoils and treated like royalty Tom I will miss you dearly and thank you for being a positive influence in my life love Annie

M time in the Navy

Posted by Ann Brand - springfield, IL - friend   April 23, 2015

Cattle drivers used to say that a man who knew and did his job well; could always be trusted; and would always have a friend's back was a "good hand to ride with". Tom was a good hand to ride with.

Posted by Andrew Brown - Springfield, IL - friend   April 22, 2015

We moved in next door (ok..a house away) from the Bartletts when I was 5 years old. Apparently I went over and knocked on the door and asked for Andrew who was in kindergarten with me. Since that time Andrew is been a best friend, the best man in my wedding, God father to my daughter and nearly a brother. I'm sure growing up Tom (and Jeani) had to beat our butts is few times along with the other kids in the neighborhood...

He was a great man.

There are a few things I'm sure of:

He lived his life straightforward, no BS, loved his family and children everyday, loved his dog!, loved riding his motorcycle, and certainly loved music.

My condolences to the Bartlett family, whom always made me feel like family.


Posted by Corey Entinghe - Springfield, IL - Close enough to Family   April 22, 2015


My dad always said that life is like a ladder and we are slowly making our way up to the top of the ladder during our lifetime not knowing what happens when we reach the top... well, after 2 years of battling cancer, my dad has reached the top of the ladder. He is in a much better place now and finally reunited with his mom & dad, and his favorite dog in the world, Shadow. It's fitting that this is a picture of my dad and his little brother as young kids climbing their ladder... with my dad at the top not knowing where his life would take him... he had a great journey and I will miss him greatly but I know I will see him again. Until that day comes, I will remember his infectious smile and laugh... cancer may have taken my dad but it will never take his spirit as that will live on forever thru those that had the honor of knowing him. Rest in peace Dad... I love you always and am forever grateful for all that you have ever done for me and our family.

Posted by Jessica Krisfalusi - Springfield, IL - Daughter   April 22, 2015

Tom was a true shipmate whose pride in being a Corporal crew member was contagious and resulted in the opportunities for many of us to rekindle friendships and look back proudly on our Corporal days together. It is an honor to have served with him.

Posted by Phil Recht, LT, USNR - West Bend, WI - Friend   April 21, 2015

This is one of my favorite pics of T and our grandparents. He is just so damn happy here. He's heading back to New London and the submarine USS Corporal.
I'm so proud of him and he looks so good in his whites.

Posted by RennyBartlett - Fort Collins, CO - brother   April 21, 2015

Posted by Andrew Bartlett - Springfield, IL - Son   April 21, 2015

Thinking of the Bartlett family and remembering summer fun. T will be missed
Jody Baker Hoffman

Posted by Jody Hoffman - Waxhaw, NC - Castine friend   April 20, 2015

Tom was a big hit at Craig's Pond, Maine. He had a big personality , a kind heart and the kids loved him. His ability to tell stories was masterful. He will be missed by family and friends. Rest in Peace!
Lisa and Jim Bryan

Posted by Lisa and Jim Bryan - Alexandria, VA - friends   April 20, 2015

Tom served well his country and his Navy. He was a pleasure to have on board.
In later years he was instrumental in organizing a series of reunions which provided his shipmates with the opportunity to recall and share memories of that time. We will miss him.

Capt. Jean Paul Sheets, USN (Ret)
Commanding Officer, USS Corporal (SS 346) (1968-1970)

Posted by Jean Paul Sheets - Seattle, WA - Friend   April 20, 2015

I worked with Tom at DCFS for several years and remember him as a good friend. Tom was very knowledgable and always had a keen sense of humor. I will miss him. My prayers are with his family.

Posted by Bob Trainor - Springfield, IL   April 20, 2015

I have wonderful memories of playing in our Main Street backyard with T, Rennie, and Shelley! And visiting the Bartletts at the cabin on Dyce's Head. I'm glad I saw everyone not so long ago, by the State of Maine docked in the harbor. Safe passage T! Now you are everywhere! Love, Maggie

Posted by Maggie Baker - Castine, ME - chidhood friend   April 20, 2015

"T" was my best friend. You could count on his help for anything. From the time we were little kids , thru to the end, he was always there for me. What more can a little brother ask for. I'm sure missing him!

Posted by Renny Bartlett - Fort Collins, CO - brother   April 19, 2015

Andrew, your Dad was always so upbeat and funny! I know he went by and picked up the dog on Rainbow Ridge.. Prayers of comfort to you and your family...

Posted by L Kennedy - springfield, IL - Friend   April 18, 2015

My heartfelt sympathy and prayers to Rennie and Shelley and Tom's family. So many wonderful childhood memories with T and the Bartletts. I will always cherish our beach memories and our trip to Maine and sailing all together. God Bless you. Sending my love to all. Martha

Posted by Martha Thompson Sadler - Annapolis, MN - family friend   April 18, 2015


I'll always remember Tom's smiling face when I first saw him some 35+ years after I'd left the boat. It was one of the earlier reunions. I'll miss that smile and catching up on old friends with Tom.

Don Riggs

I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.


Posted by Don Riggs (Riggsy) - Asbury, NJ - friend & shipmate   April 18, 2015

Family Album

brothers in arms
Tom and myself hanging out on the Corporal,late sixties. Tom was a great shipmate and could always be counted on to lighten things up. He was the driving force behind a series of reunions that took place over the last 10 years. I'm glad we were shipmates. My condolences to his family.
1967 Atlantic-bridge lookout
USS Corporal SS346-Tom's submarine
Tom and Shadow-best buddies

Family Album

Wes, T, Katie
Jessica and Tom
engine room gang-USS Corporal
On deck of his sub
1967 Navy Picture
1968 - On watch on his submarine

Family Album

1999 - Even the birds loved him!
1987 - Tom and Henry Kissinger shaking hands after speaking at a conference together.
2008 - Tom and his favorite dog Shadow. Shadow always rode with her head on his shoulder, watching the road ahead...
1981 - on Lake Michigan, bringing in the big fish
2003 - Out on the water in Castine, ME, in front of the State of Maine.
Boyd and Tom-Rota , Spain 1969

Family Album

We were kids once Shelley, Renny and "T" -1959
Cora, Tom and Joe
Tom & Boyd
Tom ("Bae Bae") & Brendan
Tom, Jessica, & Brendan - Brendan's 2nd Birthday

Family Album

Tom & Shelley
"the flat top" 9th grade-1962
Happy Days
Captain America and Wes having fun


Thomas Bartlett being quoted in the Wall Street Journal - 02-12-1986
While Thomas Bartlett worked at Kenny Johnson Moving & Storage he handled the transportation of a number of Abraham Lincoln's personal effects from Washington, D.C. to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL. You can see Tom pictured at the top. This article was from November of 1989.
Thomas Bartlett gave many speech presentations in his life. This list references some the places he gave them, the dates and the topics. Many of these speeches were given to groups of up to 1000 people!
When Thomas Bartlett was contacted to give a speech presentation he would provide this list of several topics he would present about for companies to choose from.
While working at Diamond Shamrock Thomas Bartlett received many awards. This particular one was from November of 1985. Tom is pictured among the top award winners.
Thomas Bartlett pictured and quoted in The RELOcator in 1986 while working for Diamond Shamrock.


A congratulations letter from Diamond Shamrock on winning a Corporate-Wide Recognition Award. He would later be recognized at the Employee Recognition Banquet that was held in his honor on September 16, 1986.
Article from The Real Estate Times (September 28, 1986) in which Thomas Bartlett was referenced.
Article from RELOCATIONEWS where Thomas Bartlett was interviewed and quoted. - 1985
Article from RELOCATIONEWS where Thomas Bartlett was interviewed and quoted. - November 1985
Article from the May/June 1984 issue of Mobility Magazine that Thomas Bartlett was interviewed for.
Article from Relocation Quarterly in which Thomas Bartlett was interviewed and quoted.


Article from National Business Employment Weekly (page 1 of 4) in which Thomas Bartlett was interviewed for. - 06-12-1983
Article from National Business Employment Weekly (page 2 of 4) in which Thomas Bartlett was interviewed for. - 06-12-1983
Article from National Business Employment Weekly (page 3 of 4) in which Thomas Bartlett was interviewed for. - 06-12-1983
Article from National Business Employment Weekly (page 4 of 4) in which Thomas Bartlett was interviewed for. - 06-12-1983

Life Stories

My Brother, the manager. If ever there was one, "T" as we kids called him, was it! I think he started managing me from the day I was born. Decisions were easy, just ask T. We had a rock and roll band in high school and T was our manager. He would get us gigs to play at high schools, dances and other venues. He was a great manager. He did all the things we didn't want to do and you know, he did this through out his whole life and he was good at it. At times I think he missed his calling, but he did a great job at managing me, his family and any thing he was associated with. He was especially good at managing the girls. I wouldn't be surprised if his head stone read Tom Bartlett "the manager" because that was what he was.