Thomas Votava PDF Print E-mail
Written by Provided to Sentinel-Tribune   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 11:11
Votava-Obituary-PhotoRetired Bowling Green Police Chief Thomas E. Votava, 68, of Grand Rapids, Ohio, passed away Sunday, January 12, 2014.
Tom was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Edward and Dorothy (Baker) Votava. Tom married Diana Pulschen on September 29, 1974 in Port Clinton, and she survives in Grand Rapids.
Also surviving Tom are his mother, Dorothy of Schaumburg, Illinois; daughters, Arika (Brett) Dennison of Perrysburg, Ohio, and Kate Votava (Craig Hamilton) of Chicago, Illinois; sisters, Carol Rabalais of Kingsport, Tennessee; Terri Votava of Dahlonega, Georgia; and Patti Howerton of Schaumburg, Illinois; a brother, Edward "Rusty" (Lynn) Votava of Roselle, Illinois; sister-in-law, Donna Pulschen of Bowling Green, Ohio; a niece, Taylor and nephews, Chip (Sarah), Ed, Bob and Jack.
He was preceded in death by his father, Edward.
Tom proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, where he received the Bronze Star while with the Combat Tracker Team with the Americal Division.
He was a graduate of the University of Louisville Southern Police Institute, Police Executive Leadership College, Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, and the Secret Service Dignitary Protection School. He also attended Bowling Green State University.
Tom was appointed as a Patrolman for the Bowling Green City Police Department on January 7, 1971, to Sergeant in 1972, Lieutenant in 1979, and Assistant Chief of Police in 1986. On April 7, 1997, Tom was promoted to Chief of Bowling Green Police Department, the position he held until his retirement on June 30, 2006.
Tom also served on several boards and commissions. He was on the Wood Lane Residential Services Board, where he served as vice chair and recently as chair until his passing. Tom has also been on the Wood Lane Foundation Board since 2006.
In March, 2008, Tom became the Human Resources Director and Systems Operator for the Make-it-Right Foundation in New Orleans, where he spent two 6-month stints. He also worked briefly for Sader Solar in New Orleans as a Human Resources Director. In addition, since retirement, Tom chose to become a FEMA reservist.
The most important thing in life was his home and family. Although he loved working around his farm, Tom also enjoyed several motorcycle trips to Sturgis, Daytona Beach, and Key West and most states including Alaska with his brother and friends.
Sailing on Lake Erie was another pastime as was history and military history.
Tom will be remembered for his great sense of integrity, and for his creative wit and humor.
Visitation for Tom will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2014, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. in the DECK-HANNEMAN FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, 1460 W. Wooster St., Bowling Green, Ohio 43402, where his funeral service will be held on Friday, January 17, 2014, at 11 a.m.
Interment with Military Honors will follow in the Oak Grove Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions may be gifted in Tom's honor to either Wood Lane Residential, 545 Pearl St., Bowling Green, Ohio, 43402; or to Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio, P.O. Box 20318, Toledo, Ohio, 43623.
Online condolences may be sent to the Votava family by visiting

To send flowers click here!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2014 11:32

Front Page Stories

Perrysburg Twp. man gets 22 years for rape, assault
07/25/2014 | PETER KUEBECK, Sentinel Staff Writer

A Perrysburg Township man was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison Thursday afternoon after bei [ ... ]

Otsego approves contract with staff
07/25/2014 | Sentinel-Tribune
article thumbnail

TONTOGANY - The Otsego school district has inked a new three-year contract with  [ ... ]

Other Front Page Articles