Kate Mulgrew's father, T.J. Mulgrew, passed away on Sunday, January 18th, 2004 surrounded by his beloved family.

The family would like to acknowledge the wonderful care Mr. Mulgrew received from the staff of the Hospice of Dubuque - particularly from his nurses Rose, Kate, Jane, and Amy. 

In lieu of cards and flowers, donations can be made to the Hospice of Dubuque, in memory of T.J. Mulgrew. 

Hospice of Dubuque 
2255 JFK Road 
Dubuque, IA 52002 

Jan 20, 2004 

Thomas J. Mulgrew II

Thomas James Mulgrew II, a successful Dubuque businessman and prominent figure in Democratic politics locally and nationally, died Sunday, Jan. 18, 2004, at his home. He was 83.

The family will have a private graveside ceremony. Friends are invited to Derby Grange for a reception at 4 p.m. today. Weather permitting, there will be a bonfire. The Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road, is in charge of arrangements.

He was born on Nov. 20, 1920, in Dubuque, son of Russell and Genevieve Mulgrew. He was the eldest of three children. His grandfather, Thomas James Mulgrew, was one of Dubuque's most prosperous businessmen.

He attended Loras College (then Columbia College), where he lettered in track and field and graduated with highest honors.

After serving as a lieutenant in the Air Force, he moved to Chicago, where he worked for the Foote Cone and Belding Advertising Agency, handling many national accounts.

While in Chicago, he met Joan Virginia Kiernan, of Montclair, N.J. They were married in 1953, and moved to Dubuque to raise a family.

Upon returning to Dubuque, Mr. Mulgrew and his brother, Robert, established Mulgrew Blacktop, an asphalt paving company that remained in business for nearly 25 years. Their bright yellow trucks were a regular sight on the streets of Dubuque.

Throughout his life, he was actively involved in politics. He served as Dubuque County Democratic Chairman from 1962 to 1967, and was involved in several high- profile campaigns, including those of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. He considered himself a "Yellow Dog" Democrat.

Known by his friends as T.J. and Ace, he was an accomplished snow skier, tennis player and boxer. He had to give up boxing early in life, however, because of his hands. The referee kept stepping on them.

Mr. Mulgrew also dabbled in thoroughbred racing. His prized filly, Iron Elf, raced at Pimlico and Belmont.

One of his greatest passions was Notre Dame football. A diehard fan, he would regularly take his sons to South Bend to watch games in the House That Rockne Built. His sons carry on the tradition today.

Of his many achievements (his family aside), he was most proud of a financial risk he took in 1961. Against the advice of friends and business colleagues, he bought a pre-Civil War brick house in the country, miles outside of Dubuque. The small, 40-acre estate was called Derby Grange.

In the hands of T.J. and Joan, the place became a haven for good cheer, challenging repartee, spontaneous parties, song-and-dance, bonfires, bocce and even the occasional relay race. It was a magnet, attracting all walks of life. Hundreds of people have been touched in some way by Derby Grange.

Surviving are his wife, Joan, of Dubuque; six children, Tom Mulgrew, of Nashville, Tenn., Kate Mulgrew and Jenny Mulgrew Beck, both of New York, Joe Mulgrew, of Dubuque, Laura Mulgrew, of Center Point, Iowa, and Sam Mulgrew, of Monmouth, Iowa; 15 grandchildren, Annie Mulgrew, Thomas Mulgrew IV, Ian Egan, Alec Egan, Rory Mulgrew, Madde Mulgrew, Ryan Mulgrew, Sarah Buelow, Gregory Buelow, Anthony Buelow, Joe Buelow, Therese Mulgrew, Josephine Mulgrew, Isabel Beck and Michaela Beck; and a great-grandson, Jackson Mulgrew.