JCA announces 2020 Jubilaté Recognition Award recipients

Tom Carbery ’49 and family

Joliet Catholic Academy 2020 Recognition Award Recipients: Tom Carbery (’49) and Family.

Come help us celebrate the Carbery Family at Jubilate!

Last year Tom Carbery celebrated his 70th anniversary as a graduate of the 1949 class of Joliet Catholic High School. Tom represents a generation of alumni who sustained Joliet Catholic Academy and its predecessor schools, Joliet Catholic High School and Saint Francis Academy for decades through their service, commitment and love for the extended JCA community. He maintains and treasures dear friendships with many alumni of that era including Pat Peyla, Bob and Rosemary Stephen and Jean Konrad among many others. He considers all Hilltoppers and Angels part of his extended family.

The highlight of Tom’s high school career was his first date with his wife, Joan (Elwood) Carbery at the 1947 Junior Prom. Tom had been selected as King of the “Lilac Glow” but was inexplicably abandoned by his date, two nights before the prom. At the prompting of his mother, Tom’s father (also Tom Carbery) contacted his childhood neighbor, Joan’s mother, Agnes Elwood and arranged an emergency date that proved fateful. Though romantically inept, Tom served as Class President and standout football and basketball athlete. He remains the only Carbery football player whose picture was featured in the Chicago Tribune.

Professionally Tom was a civil engineer at Chicago Bridge and Iron Company (forerunner to CBI Industries) for most of his career. A highlight of his professional life was his 1969 stint in Dubai where he was part of a team that deployed the world’s first off shore oil storage facility in the Middle East. The project was nominated for honors by the National Society of Engineers whose only two other nominees were the Boeing 747 and the NASA space program. Tom inspired a generation of students to explore the world upon his return through presentations to local schools.

Like so many alumni of JCA from his era, Tom has found countless opportunities to serve his alma mater and his community. He and Joan were Chairpersons of Jubilation in 1982 together with Marilyn and the late James Tyler. He continues his community service in his 89th year as a volunteer at Silver Cross Hospital each Saturday morning. He makes frequent appearances at many JCA events where he rocks a class of ’49 letter sweater.

Tom is a lifelong resident of Lockport and Fairmont and a devoted member of St Dennis Parish. Tom and Joan have four children who are also JCA alumni – Mike (JCHS 1976), Steve (JCHS 1978), Paul (JCHS 1979) and Patti (SFA 1982). Their JCA educations have propelled them to careers in education, architecture and finance and a lifelong passion for world travel which Tom fostered. Tom is grandfather to seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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