Charleston, IL – Thomas P. Moncada of Charleston, IL passed away in the loving presence of his family on January 20, 2021, at the age of 76. Tom will be remembered for his enthusiasm, generosity, infectious laugh, and an ever-present twinkle in his eye. His family was graced by numerous stories from a life well lived. If you would like to join the family for a celebration of Tom’s life at a later date, please contact CelebrateMoncada@gmail.com to receive details. At the request of the family, contributions to honor Tom can be made to the EIU Foundation – Dr. Thomas P. Moncada Family Scholarship in Accountancy. Memorials may be mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, IL 61920 or submitted online at www.eiu.edu/giving.php (select “Other Gifts” and please indicate the name of Tom’s scholarship; also complete the “In Memory of” portion of the form).
Tom is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Susan; his daughter and the light of his life, Elizabeth Moncada of Chicago, IL; and his brother John Moncada of Crystal Lake, IL and his family. Tom was preceded in death by his parents and his niece.
Tom was born to Peter and Josephine Moncada on March 15, 1944. He had fond memories of his childhood in Chicago, IL, living above his aunt and uncle’s grocery store. Surrounded by family, he developed great pride in his Sicilian heritage and a passion for good food and pastries that continued throughout his life. He enjoyed all the city had to offer and recalled riding his bicycle throughout the neighborhood and frequenting the local movie theater, which inspired his love of Western movies. He played softball with friends and learned the accordion, furthering his appreciation of music.
While living in Chicago, Tom attended St. Teresa’s for his elementary education, and after the family relocated to Berkeley, IL, he attended St. Domitilla’s. Tom was a 1962 graduate of Immaculate Conception (IC) High School in Elmhurst, IL. Tom served as high school class president for two years, and he shared animated stories about acting in several plays. An avid sports fan, he played football and threw shotput. Decades later, he continued to follow the IC football program and enjoyed watching the team compete in the Illinois High School Association Football Championship.
Tom frequently recounted adventures as a young adult including fishing trips with friends to Canada and to Door County, WI with his brother. He developed an appreciation for classic cars and with a friend drove the entirety of Route 66. After this trip, he entered the United States Armed Forces as his father before him. Tom served as a cryptographer in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War and was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. He was an airman second class and received the National Defense Service Medal. Tom enjoyed talking with other veterans about their experiences and reading about World War II.
Following his military service, Tom pursued a number of academic degrees. He first came to Charleston, IL as a student to attend Eastern Illinois University (EIU). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with majors in Accounting and Finance and graduated with honors. Then he pursued and received a Juris Doctorate from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law before earning a Master of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University. He passed the Illinois Bar Exam and was a Certified Public Accountant.
Tom embarked on his teaching career at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, where he met his wife, Susan, and they began their life together. In 1980 Tom returned to Charleston, IL where he taught accounting, tax, and law for EIU’s School of Business. During this new chapter, the couple welcomed a daughter, Elizabeth. Over the years, he was known for sharing stories about her with anyone who would listen. Tom had a passion for teaching through storytelling and proudly spent 37 years as an Accounting professor at EIU. He had fond memories of time spent with fellow faculty, staff, and students. He enjoyed attending students’ sporting events, learning about their lives, and hearing of former students’ professional accomplishments. Upon retirement, his past students employed at Caterpillar Inc. honored him with a plaque acknowledging his contributions. He was exceptionally proud of the scholarship created in his honor by the EIU Accountancy Advisory Board, the Dr. Thomas P. Moncada Family Scholarship in Accountancy, which supports veterans and ROTC members pursuing a degree in accounting, mirroring his life’s path.
Tom treasured casual conversations with members of the Charleston community whether it be the grocery store worker, banking associate, automotive service advisor, custodian, plumber, nurse, or pharmacist. He liked getting to know people on a first name basis, and he missed these people and their interactions throughout 2020.
Tom had a passion for learning and a limitless curiosity for knowledge. He was an avid reader with a prolific vocabulary. He loved listening to a broad range of music, and whether at home or in his EIU office, music accentuated his daily life. If so inspired, Tom liked penning poems to share with his family. He enjoyed the beauty of spring flowers in his wife’s garden and watching birds and local wildlife from the comfort of his home. Above all else, Tom was happiest when spending time with his wife and daughter as they were the greatest joys of his life.
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