Lincoln-Way Central mourns death of Tom SchumanLincoln-Way Central’s Tom Schuman tees off from the 3rd hole during the
Minooka 3A Golf Regional in Channahon Tuesday October, 4, 2011.
| Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
The Lincoln-Way Central community is mourning the loss of Tom Schuman, a senior two-sport athlete who died Saturday morning. He was 18.
An autopsy was inconclusive, and the cause of death is pending further studies, according to the Will County coroner’s office.
Family members recalled his great sense of humor, love of sports and ability to bring people together, said his aunt Lori McDevitt.
Speaking through McDevitt, Schuman’s younger sisters, Hanna and Emma, said their big brother always made them laugh.
“When he was little, we could get him to laugh so easily, he would wet his pants,” his aunt said.
“He was really good at pulling people together. He would start strumming his guitar and people would gather,” she said.
Schuman also had a great group of friends, she said. Over the weekend, many stopped by the family home to offer condolences.
“A lot of good people are helping us get through this,” McDevitt said.
The night before he died, he called his grandfather, Wes Vogt in Minnesota to talk sports, as they frequently did, McDevitt said.
“Grandpa realized he could not beat him on the golf course any more,” said his aunt, also of Minnesota.
“We were looking forward to him coming to the Univeristy of Minnesota next fall,” McDevitt said.
On Friday, Schuman left school early because he was not feeling well. He came home, took a nap, talked to his grandfather and went to a movie, McDevitt said.
At 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Schuman spoke on the phone to an adaptive physical education student he had taken under his wing, she said. When his younger brother Joey tried to wake him up for baseball on Saturday morning, Schuman did not respond, she said.
Schuman starred on the Lincoln-Way Central baseball and golf teams.
“We’re devastated,” Lincoln-Way Central athletic director Hud Venerable said. “Tom was a tremendous young man. He was a top student and a top athlete. He was well respected by everybody.”
According to Venerable, Schuman wasn’t feeling well Friday and left school early.
“We received verification of Tom’s death around 9:15 (a.m.) Saturday,” Venerable said. “He went to sleep Friday and never woke up.”
Schuman earned the win Thursday in relief during a 3-2 win against Bradley. After pitching in 14 games as a junior, Schuman was tabbed the Knights’ closer this season.
Schuman was a top golfer for the Knights, finishing second in the SouthWest Suburban Conference meet in October and third in the Class 3A Minooka Regional.
At the conference meet, he twice triple-bogeyed par 3s only to rebound with birdies on the very next holes.
“You’re really down after a triple,” Schuman said at the time. “But you just know the rest of the holes are ahead of you.”
In 2009, he finished in a three-way tie for second place in the 13-to-15-year-old division at the SouthtownStar Challenge.
In a prepared statement, Lincoln-Way High School Superintendent Lawrence Wyllie extended his “heartfelt sympathies” to the Schuman family.
“He was a hard-working student, wonderful young man, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Wyllie said.
Visitation is from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Peace Community Church, 21300 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort. The funeral is Wednesday at 11 a.m.