Thomas Catarino Lugo entered the gates of heaven on May 10, 2022 surrounded by his family. Known to family and close friends as “Tommy” or his childhood nickname “Tom Cat,” he was born on October 31,1980. Tommy was a compassionate, vibrant, kind-hearted person with a personality that never failed to light up anyone who happened to be in the room. He always had a smile on his face, would bring laughter to the table, and had a way of transferring his energy to those who were around him to love and live life with passion. Tommy held a special place in his heart for helping others - his family, friends, acquaintances, and even people he did not know. He never saw any faults in anyone; he met everyone where they were at and accepted everyone for who they were.
Tommy loved his family, extended family, and friends. Son of Thomas Lugo and Paula (Ryba) Lugo, lifelong residents of Lyons, IL, recently relocated to Las Cruces, NM; brother to Thea (Lugo) Kavanaugh, husband Brian; and Jared Lugo, wife Brandi; uncle to Nevan, Jaxon, Jared “JJ”, and Mikayla; beloved Godfather to Nevan Kavanaugh; cherished grandson to Lolita Ryba and Esther Lugo, and aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends who were family to him. Predeceased by his grandfathers, Robert Ryba and Victor Lugo.
Tommy graduated from Morton West High School in 1999 where he played football, and volleyball, danced Ballet Folklorico, and was voted as the Senior Turn-About King. He attended Northwood University in Midland, Michigan on scholarship where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration, Associate in Hotel Restaurant Resort Management, and Associate in Automotive Aftermarket in 2004.
Tommy had a work ethic like no other. He had a niche for working with a team of people and had an eye for detail. He never missed an opportunity to add his personal touch and unique style to anything he tackled; he took great pride in his work. Even in the nonstop, fast-paced environment of restaurant management, he easily increased staff morale and quickly motivated his team to accept nothing less than high-quality, professional service. The same as he treated his friends and strangers alike, he always made certain others were well taken care of. He worked in a variety of places throughout the years in a management role, such as The Corner Bakery, The "Piazza on Michigan Avenue," PRP International Wine, and most recently, he worked at the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in Chicago.
Tommy shared to the fullest, with all those he knew, the beauty of life, laughter, love - and dance. God has called Tommy home where he will continue to live, laugh, love, and dance - in our memories, in our hearts, and in our stories we share about him, forever…
Tommy attended church during his entire life. He often drew pictures with bible verses and even during his hardest tribulations he would find solace with God. Recently, Tommy started attending a new parish named St. Katharine Drexel in Chicago. This parish's congregation welcomed him and helped him regenerate his spiritual wellness. This morning they welcomed our family into their house of worship and recognized Tommy throughout their service. We met some of the parishioners that would sit with Tommy every Sunday and they shared beautiful stories of their relationship with him.
At this time, in lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Thomas's name to St. Katherine Drexel Parish and/or St. Katharine Drexel Food Pantry; Please call for donation information: 773-374-2345; or send the donation to the church at 9015 S Harper Ave. Chicago, IL 60617.
Remember me when flowers bloom early in the spring
Remember me on sunny days in the fun that summer brings
Remember me in the fall as you walk through leaves of gold
And remember me in the wintertime in the stories that are told
But most of all remember Each day, right from the start
I will be forever near For I live within your heart
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