Tom Christopher was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Ohio, and resided across the street from the Fredericksburg High School. Here is where he first became interested in sports while being around older boys when they were practicing baseball and basketball. “I gained a lot of knowledge and experience from them.” Tom moved to Perrysville in 1936 when his father was transferred to the Mansfield Sanitary Pottery.
Tom played baseball and basketball for Perrysville High School from 1938-41 and was named All County in both sports in 1939-40 and 1940-41 seasons. He was the all-time leading scorer in Ashland County for 4 years scoring 998 points. His team was league champions in both sports in 1939-40 and 1940-41. The most amazing thing about Tom was when he was picked the 6th best basketball player in Ohio out of 25,790 boys participating that year and was from a school that only enrolled 54 students in the entire high school. Tom played shortstop in baseball and maintained around a .400 batting average. He also played Fast Pitch Softball for Mansfield Pottery in Perrysville for 8 to 9 years. “We had a league down here and we would probably play around 25 to 30 games in the summer and we held our own. I can remember playing Ashland Faultless Rubber, Gorman Rupp, and Wooster Lumber. “They really had good teams. I can’t recall us ever beating Faultless, but the games were all very exciting.” Tom was also involved with the Little League program while his son was growing up and helped coach for 7 years. Tom is still actively involved in attending and watching his grandchildren play in their high school and college sports. After graduating from high school, Tom started working at Mansfield Sanitary Pottery and was there when World War II began. He decided to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corp. This took 4 years of his life, as he ended up with the 1st Marine Division in the Pacific area. He went through 4 campaigns with the Division in New Guinea, Cape Glouster New Britain, Peleleu, and Okinawa. As the war ended, he was sent to China before returning home on January 26, 1946, as a Corporal. Tom said he felt very lucky to be back home and said that the Man up above sure was with him every step along the way. He thinks that wherever you decide to live, everyone should give 100% to their community and country and get involved in as many things as they can. After a few jobs here and there, Tom was hired as the Waste Water and Street Department Superintendent for the City of Perrysville. He retired with 30 years at this position. He was the Town Marshall for 10 years, a member of the Perrysville Lions Club where he served as President and Treasurer for over 30 years, was a member of the Ashland County Board of Health for 10 years, and was Green Township Trustee for 12 years.
Tom and his wife Betty have three children: Mrs. Toni Burkepile of Loudonville, Mrs. Steve Marshall of Howard, and Charles of Loudonville. They have 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. After hearing that he was nominated to the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame, he said he was very proud and honored to be selected to this fine organization. Tom looked up, smiled, and said, “Man, that puts the frosting on the cake!”
Nominator: Toni Burkepile