Thomas W. Ortciger

February 14, 1941 ~ December 7, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old

Thomas Ortciger Obituary

Thomas W. Ortciger, 82 passed away on December 7, 2023 in Springfield, Illinois. Tom waged a long and courageous battle with congestive heart failure. Tom was born on February 14,1941 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Edward and Mildred (Jirkovsky) Ortciger. He graduated from J. Sterling Morton High School in Cicero, attended Northwestern University & graduated in 1964 from Shimer College.


Tom had a long and distinguished career in public service. He was an Executive Assistant to Congressman Edward Derwinski, and from there he became a “go to” guy for the administrations of Governors James Thompson, Jim Edgar, and George Ryan. He was the Assistant Director of the Department of Registration and Education then served as the Deputy State Fire Marshal. In 1988 he was appointed director of Illinois Emergency Services & Disasters Agency. Based upon his superb skills in handling critical issues, Tom was then appointed the Director of the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety.


In their retirement years Tom and Nancy enjoyed traveling extensively, and Tom enjoyed hunting and the outdoors. He was a man who was larger than life, a sarcastic wit sharp as the kitchen knives he wielded with fervor, a genius chef who cooked legendary 7 course Christmas dinners for family and friends with recipes that will be cherished forever, and raucous laughter that shook the walls and woke the neighbors. Tom was ever the politician, the wiley deal maker, the man in the know, the man you wanted to know. He served as Alderman for the Village of Leland Grove until 2005. In 1965 he was initiated into the Westchester #0995 Masonic Lodge, until 2008 when he became affiliated with the Temperance #0016 Lodge in Vandalia. The political “bug” never left Tom, and he always enjoyed discussing politics with his friends, allies and adversaries throughout his life.


Tom is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, his rock, best friend, and bipartisan partner Nancy (Cruthis), his son Edward (Lisa) of Burlington, Iowa, his stepchildren, Margie (Dave) Chilovich and Chip (Lynn) Fritzsche of Sorento, Illinois, 4 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren as well as 2 cousins and many friends.


Per Tom’s request no services are planned. Memorials may be made to The Philip J Rock Center and School, 818 DuPage Blvd, Glen Ellen, IL 60137

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