Antigo athletic director remembered for friendship - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Antigo athletic director remembered for friendship, love of family

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) - Tom Kislow loved to be around athletics. And his enthusiasm for sports rubbed off on those around him. As family, friends, and students mourn his passing, they recall the family man. Kislow leaves behind a wife, Jennifer, and two daughters, Abigail and Samantha.

Jon Payne coached basketball with Kislow in the 1990s at John Muir Middle School in Wausau. They later refereed together. In 2011 they had a moment they would never forget when they stepped onto the Kohl Center court to officiate a Division 2 girls state semifinal. It's the first time they ever ref'ed a state game. Daryl Pries was the third member of their officiating crew.

Kislow coached softball and basketball at Abbotsford High School. He was currently the Dean of Students and Athletic Director at Antigo High School. He lived in Weston.

"The kids absolutely loved him. He made things fun," said Payne. "When the Abby boys went to state he did play by play and color on the radio."

At Antigo High School, Payne says Kislow brought back tradition with a retro night where the basketball players and fans would dress in vintage clothes.

Payne said, "He was loved by the kids. He did a tremendous job getting the kids engaged."

Payne says Kislow always had his wife and daughters in mind as they prepared for big officiating trips.

Payne said, "He was a tremendous family man and loved his two girls. When we'd ref he'd get a hotel with a pool and bring the family along."

Pries had known Kislow since they were in high school. As Kislow's battle with lung cancer came to an end Friday, Pries and his wife were preparing to have a child. Pries was thinking of his friend as he wrote these words on his Facebook page as he and his wife prepared to check into the hospital.

"We miss you terribly. We take comfort in knowing you are no longer in pain & are in a better place," wrote Pries. "You were a great teacher, coach, official, friend, husband & father. Thanks for the great memories!"

The newest member of the Pries family was born Tuesday, March 6. Daryl and Theresa's son, Vincent Daniel Thomas, was named after Kislow.

Payne is the senior pastor at Good News Church in Mosinee. As Kislow's friend and fellow official, Payne will officiate the prayer service at 1pm Saturday, March 10 at St. Ladislaus Church in Hatley. Visitation is from 9am-1pm.

Kislow, Pries and Payne were involved in the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was started by Jim Valvano as he fought his battle with cancer. Kislow quoted Valvano on his Facebook, writing "Don't give up, don't ever give up."

Pries says a benefit is being planned to help offset Kislow's medical expenses. It's scheduled for March 16th at Day's Bowl A Dome. It will include two shifts of bowling (6pm and 8pm), as well as raffles and a silent auction. Payne says they also hope to create a holiday high school basketball tournament in Kislow's name.

Kislow was 35 years old.

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