November 22, 1935 - November 26, 2018
Tom Spigel died Monday, November 26, 2018 in Dallas. His parents, older sister Carol Zimmerman and first wife Sandra predeceased him; daughter Sheryl Spigel of Los Angeles, son Jonathan, daughter-in-law Kim, granddaughters Rebecca and Claire Spigel, all of Dallas, and numerous cousins, survive.
A first generation American, Tom was born in Dallas on November 22, 1935 to Polish/Russian immigrants Rose (Feldman) and Charles Spigel. At Forest Avenue High School, where he graduated in 1953, Tom made cherished friends who met regularly for lunches at Luby’s throughout his life, a ritual he anticipated happily. He attended the University of Texas in Austin from 1953 to 1955, relished Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity life and met his future wife and mother of his children, Sandra Levinson. When family obligation called him back to Dallas, he enrolled in Southern Methodist University and graduated in 1957 with an accounting degree. He served honorably in the U.S. army after training on the same base with fellow GI Elvis Presley.
Tom found his retail business calling working as a merchandising manager of Godchaux’s Department Store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1972, after 5 years at Godchaux’s, he moved back to Dallas and bought his first ladies ready-to-wear retail store called Manufacturer’s Outlet. In 1978, he formed Suzanne’s Shops, Inc. Tom eventually grew Suzanne’s to 76 stores located across the South and Southwest. At one time Suzanne’s was the largest non-public, ready-to-wear chain in the United States.
A charter member of the Cooper Aerobics Center, Tom ran several marathons and for a few memorable years joined his son in the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. He was a loyal Cowboys and Mavericks fan, holding Mavericks season tickets for several years, and rarely missed televised Longhorn and Mustang football games. Blackjack and poker were his favorite participatory sports, and he was very good at them, competing in poker tournaments even before “Texas Hold ‘Em” gained popularity.
Above all, Tom delighted in the lives of his granddaughters for whom his love and affection were boundless. He taught both girls to “drive” at the age of about 3, took them to nice restaurants and Broadway musicals, applauded their triumphs, consoled their defeats and offered advice they sought out and valued. They are heartbroken at his loss.
The family would like to thank the staff at Total Hospice and Palliative Care as well as The Hillcrest of North Dallas for their care and comfort. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice in Tom’s honor.
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