Tom Skordas 1948 – 2016

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It is with great sadness that JTC Running has to report the passing of one of its pioneers, Tom Skordas. In 1975 Tom attended the first meeting to organize local runners into a club that would become the Jacksonville Track Club. He was one of the original eleven “charter” members.

Tom was a natural organizer, when the new club held its weekly cross-country races at Florida Junior College South Campus (now Florida State College Jacksonville) it was Tom who invented a unique, imaginative scoreboard using Popsicle sticks. Every racer could instantly see his name; place and time put on the board by Skordas himself-for he was always there.

When the inaugural River Run 15,000 took place in April 1978 Tom was one of the first to volunteer to insure that the event would be carried out smoothly. He volunteered and worked the race every year since until his health prevented him from doing so just six years ago. Due to his volunteerism and dedication to the event he never actually ran the race. He collected the River Run 15,000/Gate River Run 15k race t-shirt every year and boasted that he was the only person who never ran the race but had a complete collection of its shirts.

Tom helped the Jacksonville Track Club to its only National Championship trophy in January 1979, first place in the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) 100-kilometer championships along with Eric Reinhardt and Jay Birmingham. The race was run in Miami against teams from Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon and others.

Tom received a Masters degree from the University of Florida in 1968. He was a computer programmer with Wells Fargo bank and only retired three years ago. He was the first person to bring our track club into the computer age in the 1980s. He oversaw the purchase of an early computer that required so much hands-on human time that he declared “it’s ruined my running.” Such was his unselfishness to our club. He ran his final race with his daughter, Carol, in 2004.

Tom Skordas died on March 3rd at the age of 67. The cause was multiple system atrophy. Tom is survived by his wife, Carolin, and their daughter Carol (26). Carol will run Saturday’s Gate River Run 15k in her father’s honor.

JTC Running will forever be in Tom’s debt for his service. He is a man that will never be replaced.

A memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16 at 1 PM. It will take place at Ponte Vedra United Methodist Church, 76 South Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl.

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