Thomas Michael Skrtic

Services for Thomas Michael Skrtic, 75, Lawrence, will be at 6pm Thursday December 2 at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. Burial will be in McKeesport, PA on December 4.

Dr. Skrtic died on November 19, 2021 at the University of Kansas, Medical Center.

He was born in McKeesport, PA on August 10, 1946, the son of Paul and Caroline Skrtic.

Dr. Skrtic, was a distinguished scholar who wrote with rigor and deep intellectual insight into how the problem of institutions, the professions, laws and policy shaped the field of special education, and the impact of these on children with disability and their families. He joined the Special Education faculty of the University of Kansas in 1976. He won numerous honors for his research and teaching and was recently appointed the Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special Education. His scholarship was informed by numerous local, regional, and statewide projects he directed over several decades. This work was enriched by many graduate students whom he wholeheartedly respected and mentored.

Dr. Skrtic was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Caroline, and his sister Cathy, who was well known in the Lawrence and KU communities.

Messages & Condolences

From Joan Cheng...

I met Tom in 1976 in Boulder, CO. It was love at first sight. He possessed the sharpest mind and most exquisite sense of humor of anyone I’d ever met. Not to mention, he was a superb dancer! I always made sure to connect with him on his birthday in August. This year, he told me he was doing fine, but had “caught stage 4 lung cancer.” My heart is broken at this tremendous loss. I feel for all who knew and loved this lion of a man, and also for the special education and KU communities who benefitted from his incredible mind and big heart. Rest easy, my love. A candle burns here for you in Colorado.

From Phyllis Lewin...

Tom was one of those giants who made a lasting impact on all who knew him. I will forever be grateful for his guidance and encouragement throughout my graduate education at KU. Sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues. May he Rest In Peace. Phyllis Lewin

From Alice-Ann Darrow...

I am so shaken by this news. Tom was a wonderful friend and colleague, as was Cathy. The field of special ed has experienced a tremendous loss, as have we all. I will remember him always, as a model brother, tremendous scholar, admirable colleague, and inspirational friend.

From Ed Meyen...

Few individuals fulfill the expectations of teaching, research and service for faculty memory as achieved by Tom. It was evident from his early days at the University of Kansas that his commitment to students and to the profession was to be come central to his life as was his his commitment to his sister Cathy. Tom and I did our graduate work at the University of Iowa. During his early years at the University of Kansas we found ourselves reminiscing about the Iowa experience and people we knew. There is much to learn from reflecting on Tom’s career. His legacy as a scholar and contributor to public service exceeds all expectations. He lived his life his in a manner that touched so many lives and served as a model for public servants. His career evolved from his desire to impact the education of students with disabilities through his engagement in teacher education to impacting public policy nationally and internationally on framing policies that would benefit students with disabilities and their families. This occurred in the context of being a very special person in all aspects of his life. Possibly the most important contribution to special education will be his impact of his graduate students, who benefited from his mentor ship and will make their stamp on the profession in the future.

From Peter Leone...

Tom was a dear friend and mentor. He was the best man at my wedding. I always learned something new after spending just a few minutes with him. Tom was a scholar and advocate for people with disabilities. He will be sorely missed.

From David Egnor...

Tom was a giant in the field. He was my mentor and friend. I will miss him always.

From Elizabeth Hall...

Tom and I went to school together for many years. He was truly a very nice person. I also knew his family. He was very personable. We also went to catholic school together. R.I.P. Tom. My deepest sympathy to your family. an old port vue friend schoolmate. Liz Hasso Hall

From David Holroyd...

I had Tom for a class and he was engaging and very well respected by my classmates. He was truly an asset to the School of Education when he came to KU. I am quite frankly, shocked that he has passed away.

Please Share Your Message & Condolences

*All fields are required. Your email address will not be published.