Thomas Paul Klinker, CPA, CGFO, CPFO, aged 68, of Leesburg, Florida passed away at his home on May 27, 2023, after a brief illness.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Tom moved to Ocala, Florida at the age of two, and lived in Central Florida for the rest of his life. He is survived by his life companion, Nancy Martin, of Leesburg; his brother, Herb Klinker, Jr. (Jeanie Klinker), of Mount Dora, Florida; a nephew, Alex Klinker (Karolina Klinker) of Marietta, Georgia; a niece, Suzannah Klinker of Cleveland, Georgia; and Nancy’s niece Elizabeth Avchin of Ormond Beach, Florida. He was preceded in death by his parents, Herbert and Edith Klinker of Ocala.
A 1973 graduate of Ocala Vanguard High, Tom attended the University of Florida where he obtained his accounting degree in 1977, becoming a CPA in 1980. He began a forty-plus-year career of public service as a government finance officer, serving in various financial leadership positions in Marion, Osceola, and Flagler counties, as well as the cities of Leesburg and Mount Dora, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. In 1996, he was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles as interim Clerk of the Courts for Marion County.
He was an active member and a Past President of the Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA). Tom received the FGFOA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He was also active in the national Governmental Finance Officers Association. He received multiple awards for financial reporting and budgeting excellence over the years.
Tom was an avid Florida Gator fan, attending every UF football game (home, away, and postseason) for thirty-five years. He served as President of the Lake County Gator Club, and as Regional Vice-President of the University of Florida Alumni Association, where he was a Centennial Life Member. He was Past President of the Ocala Kiwanis Club. He was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity and Gator Boosters.
Tom loved to travel, and for many years, he and Nancy traveled extensively exploring and photographing hundreds of lighthouses. His love of music led him to discover Trop Rock music, through which he developed enduring friendships with many of the genre’s top musicians and fans from all over the country. Between going to Gator sporting events and Trop Rock music festivals, their latitudes were constantly changing.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Ocala on June 1st at 10:30AM with Father Patrick J. Sheedy officiating (wearing something orange and/or blue is appreciated). Visitation will be 45 minutes prior to the Mass. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Park in Ocala. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Trop-Rock Music Association Artist Relief Foundation (troprock.org/artistrelief), or to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation (www.npcf.us).