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Thomas Michael "Tom" Bordenaro

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Thomas (Tom) Michael Bordenaro, age 74, passed away on Friday, September 3, 2021 at Bright Kavanaugh House in Des Moines, IA. Tom fought a courageous battle with heart failure and was surrounded by those he loved until the very end. Tom was born in Des Moines in the middle of a snowstorm on May 29, 1947 to Tony and Lucretia (Vito) Bordenaro. He attended St. Anthony grade school, Lincoln High School and what is now known as Truman State (formerly Northeast Missouri State) to study history and physical education.

He is survived by his wife, Susan Bordenaro, his former wife, Jaci Dunning, his three children: Todd (Deb) Bordenaro, Christian Bordenaro, and Tara (Roger) Mattiussi. Five grandchildren: Nicholas Bordenaro, Violet and Grace Bordenaro, and Dominic and Andrew Mattiussi, his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Kay Bordenaro McBroom and Bill Thomas, his mother-in-law, Margaret “Muggy” Starr, his nephew, Cody (Madi) Evison, great niece, Emberlyn Evison, his sisters-in-law, Mary Kay Houk, Kathleen Starr (Paul Tymosko), Erin (Brad) Hearn, and Trudy Bordenaro, 22 nieces and nephews, 15 great nieces and nephews, and a multitude of cousins, cousins-in-laws, and many friends who were more like family than anything.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Tony and Lucretia Bordenaro, his infant daughter, Nicole Bordenaro, his brothers, Anthony and Robert Bordenaro, his sisters-in-law, Janet and Judy Bordenaro, and his former wife, Lynn Krueger.

Throughout his life, Tom held many roles, first in the insurance industry, then as a teacher, substitute teacher, Lincoln Athletic scorekeeper, Easter Lake Beach operator, coach, and pizza ambassador as a delivery manager. He served in the Iowa National Guard as a medic, loved playing golf at Blank Golf Course, tennis at Columbus Park, and racquetball at the downtown YMCA. Tom was also known for jogging with his dalmatian, riding his bike, and hanging out in his hot tub. What he was best known for was his entrepreneurial spirit and cooking skills, which led to the inception of Bordenaro’s Pizza on July 7, 1977, and which his son, Chris, owns and operates to this day. Tom was a proud, lifelong Southside resident. He had an ability to make everyone feel welcome and like you were instantly his favorite. He loved a good conversation (or debate) and to entertain. Children and pets alike were instantly drawn to him. He could be found on the golf course, eating breakfast with his lifelong friends, or catching an athletic event for one of the many children whom he adored. He was the first person many of us would call to talk through a life situation, and his no-nonsense advice will be missed by many.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate in his name to EveryStep Hospice or the Food Bank of Iowa.

A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, September 12 from 4-7pm at the Blank Golf Course with a prayer, eulogy, and stories at 6:30pm



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