South Bend - Thomas R. Pilot, Jr, 75, passed away peacefully on December 2, 2018, in the company of his family after a lengthy illness. He was born in San Diego, CA, on July 9, 1943, to the late Dr. Thomas R. and Catherine Morris Pilot. He grew up in South Bend and graduated from St. Joseph High School. Tom was a “Double Domer,” graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1965, and again with a Masters of Arts in Sociology in 1967. He enjoyed an early career in human resources and product management, working for Miles Laboratories, Quaker Oats (where he helped launch Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch cereal), and the Pepsi-Cola Company. He considered his best professional years, however, to be at the University of Notre Dame, where he found his passion and talent in fundraising, serving as a Regional Director in the Development Office from 1976 – 1981. He absolutely loved the University and his co-workers and sought to live his life consistent with the values of Notre Dame. In 1982, he formed his own company, Pilot Associates. Tom went on to lead fund raising campaigns for more than 22 non-profit organizations for the rest of his career. He was known for his integrity, work ethic, and persistence, consistently meeting or exceeding every goal set before him. After retiring in the early 2000’s, Tom became a secular Franciscan where he deepened his Roman Catholic faith and enjoyed the company of his faith group, family, and friends. We will all miss his engaging smile, ability to laugh at himself, and “little boy humor.”
He is survived by his wife, Cyndi, of 48 years and a daughter, Kathryn (Jason) Scarlett of Niles, MI, and his two grandsons William Joseph and Peter John Scarlett. He is also survived by his sisters Karol (John) Kintz of Granger, IN; and Marianne Pilot, Raleigh, NC, as well as his nieces and nephews – John P. Kintz, Jr. of Mill Valley, CA, Larelise (David) Kobernuss of Seattle, WA, Kristian Kintz of South Bend, IN, and Allyson Lodholz of Maple Grove, MN.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 3:30pm, on Thursday, December 6th, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Burial will follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame, IN, at a later time.
Friends may visit with the family from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m. with a rosary at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5th, in the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Dr., South Bend, IN. Online condolences may be sent to www.kaniewski.com.
We are especially grateful for the caring and dedicated staff of Heritage Point Assisted Living and Memory Care and The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care.
Memorial contributions may be made to University of Notre Dame, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, to support financial aid at the University.