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home : obituaries : obituaries May 2, 2016

7/17/2013 8:00:00 AM
Tom D. Brovont
Aug. 7, 1939 - July 14, 2013
Tom Brovont
Tom Brovont

Tom D. Brovont, of Rochester, died at the age of 73, on Sunday, July 14, 2013, at home.

The industrial arts teacher, coach and esteemed builder, developer and entrepreneur died after a 19-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born Aug. 7, 1939, in Frankfort, to Roy D. and Betty (Douglas) Brovont, he graduated from Sweetser High School in 1957 and then from Ball State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology and later his master's degree in the arts of education.

He married Martha Jean Dugdale on Jan. 14, 1961, in Muncie. Tom and Martha had three children, Jeffrey R., Julia K. and Douglas J. Martha passed away March 6, 1987, after 26 years of marriage.

After moving to Rochester, Tom began his 26-year teaching and coaching career in the fall of 1963 at Richland Center High School, where he taught industrial arts and physical education and coached boys basketball and track. He joined Rochester Community Schools in 1965 when the two Fulton County school systems consolidated.

At Rochester Schools, he taught industrial arts and was a track coach, assistant football coach and freshman, junior varsity and varsity basketball coach. Early in his career, Tom's building trades class constructed the original administration building, and then, in 2011, he was a participating contractor when it was remodeled. He was the Rochester Middle School athletic director when he retired in 1989. His work ethic, vision and goal setting earned respect from his students, co-workers, fellow teachers and athletes and led to many lasting friendships.

In 1973, Tom joined with fellow Rochester teacher, Marvin Overmyer, to form Brovont & Overmyer Construction. In the spring of 1974, the company repaired many of the tornado-ravaged homes in the Rochester area. When not teaching or coaching, they worked evenings, weekends, summers and most school breaks on many homes around Fulton County. During these years, they also developed Spear Street and Court Street in the Manitou Heights addition.

In 1995, Tom started Tom Brovont & Son Builders and Developers and proceeded to build numerous custom homes in the local five-county area.

Tom was the driving force in many housing developments, the most visible of which is Wynnfield Crossing Assisted Living in Rochester. His other developments include Waterside Condominiums, Waterside South Duplexes, Wayland Place Duplexes, The Meadows subdivision, Hawthorne Ridge Apartments, Green Tree Apartments, Orchard Villas, Manitou Heights' Lincoln and Arthur streets, all of Rochester; Riverwood of Winamac; Blackberry Trace subdivision, Barrington Hills and Harbor Shores Condominiums on Winona Lake in the Warsaw area; Waterford Crossing Assisted Living in Goshen; and Maplecrest Assisted Living in Bluffton, Ohio.

On Oct. 19, 2002, Tom married Rebecca Moss, and became stepfather to Sarah, Gretchen and Adam.

Tom was an active member of the Kosciusko/Fulton County Builders Association. He served as president and was an active member of the board of directors. He always looked forward to the Coats for Kids project, when he personally delivered coats to needy school children. Between 1991 and 2005, Tom built custom homes for the annual Homes on Parade event.

He was a charter member of the Rochester Optimist Club and a member of the Grace United Methodist Church and the Indiana Homebuilders Association, for which he recruited numerous new members over the years. He served on the Fulton County Public Library board of directors from 1986-2001 and the Fulton County Council from 1995-1999.

He enjoyed the daily crossword puzzle, reading, attending his granddaughters' tennis matches and spending time with family at Lake Maxinkuckee. He liked to travel, including trips to Europe, Africa and Canada, and especially to Charleston, S.C., and Washington, D.C.

No matter how you knew Tom, whether as family member, friend, teacher, coach or builder, everyone knew him to be tender, generous, kind hearted, optimistic, loving and understanding. His gentle sense of humor can be summed up this way, "The only thing more beautiful than a hundred acre of corn is a new house going up with a 12/12 pitch"

Tom is survived by his wife, Rebecca Brovont; mother, Betty Brovont, of Rochester; sons, Jeffrey Roy Brovont, of Lafayette, and Douglas J. Brovont, of Rochester; stepchildren, Sarah Fischer, of Denver, Colo., Gretchen Speidel and husband Jason, of Brooklyn, Mich., and Adam Fischer, of Louisville, Ky.; grandchildren, Martha Brianne Lewis, Greg Ryne Lewis and Madalyn Nicole Lewis, all of Rochester; three stepgranddaughters; sisters, Jennifer Brinker and husband Larry, of Ramona, Calif., and Jill Kimbrough and husband Phil, of Lake Arrowhead, Calif.; and former son-in-law, Bryan Lewis, of Rochester.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha; his father, on Jan. 29, 1995; and daughter, Julia 'Kim' Lewis, on Nov. 7, 2003.

Services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Good Family Funeral Home, with Reverend Linda Sue Hewitt officiating.

Friends may visit with the family from 3-8 p.m. on Friday and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Burial will be private in IOOF Cemetery, Rochester.

Memorials may be made to the Tom Brovont Memorial Fund at the Fulton County Community Foundation, 800 Main St., Rochester.

Electronic expressions of sympathy may be made to his family at

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: Cathi (Hudkins) Morrison

I remember Mr Brovont was a great teacher. He had alot of patience with me, and I was able to do a great job on my wood project...I think my dad may still have the "coat" hanger I made to this day.
Thoughts and prayers for the family.

Posted: Monday, July 22, 2013
Article comment by: Pete Smith

Jeff & Doug,
So sorry to learn of your dad's passing. Your father was a good role model for me. I was blessed to have Coach Brovont, Coach McCarter, and Coach Smith as my high school basketball coaches. I still use the term "Dag Gummit" with my players because of Coach Brovont's influence on me when he would say, "Dag gummit Smith, make a better pass". And he was right.
He was a great man.

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: KIM Jones

Mr. Brovant was a great teacher. He had a lot of patience with those of us who didn't understand Industrial Arts, and could actually get us to understand and enjoy something about it. He will be missed. R.I.P. Mr. Brovant.

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Rick Kramer

Mr. Brovont was my coach and my teacher at Richland Center and then Rochester Middle and high school. He was a friend and colleague of my father and will be missed. I would like to think that his work ethic and guidance to do the best you can has stayed with me still today. My sincere condolences to the family and may God bless you all.

Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Article comment by: Connie Reynolds

I had the pleasure of being a student of Mr. Brovont's. He was a great teacher. My condolences go out to his family, friends, coworkers and all who knew him. R.I.P. Mr. Brovont, you will be missed by many

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