Tom Anischik, who rose from the mailroom to become a top executive at the Hartford Courant and who spent more than three decades making sure the newspaper never missed a day of publication, died Feb. 16.
Anischik was 63 and lived in Tolland and Chatham, Mass.
“Tom was a fierce advocate and guardian of the Courant for the many years he ran operations,” said Andrew Julien, the Courant’s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. “He had a profound appreciation for the role we played in the state, was proud of his part in it and had deep respect for his many colleagues across the organization committed to our mission.”
Over 35 years, Anischik oversaw the workings of the newspaper, from the pressroom to distribution. He retired in 2017 with plans to work as a consultant and to enjoy Cape Cod. “His favorite pastimes were going on adventures with his daughter, and coaching and mentoring her through many athletic, scholastic and professional endeavors,’' his family recalled in an obituary.
Lou Golden a former vice-president and deputy publisher of the Courant, remembered Anischik as a detail-oriented colleague who was always willing to help and impart his own knowledge on others.
“He had a motor that only had one gear and that was overdrive,” Golden said Friday.
Golden added that even though he had left the newspaper two decades ago, the two remained friends and spoke to each other recently.
“He was a friend you always kept talking to,” Golden said.
Anischik was born in Boston and raised in Chicopee, Mass. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
“This is hard to absorb, such a big personality, so smart, a champion of women,” former editor Carolyn Lumsden said in a Facebook post. “So sorry for his wife and daughter, whom he adored.”
Another former colleague recalled working with Anischik in the 1980s.
“As a composing room supervisor I was twice removed from Tom in the reporting structure but he was a mentor to all,” said David Dubnanski. “He always had time for everyone and was always looking to get a pulse on how things were going and how people were feeling.”
Anishchik also served on numerous boards, including Camp Courant, The Connecticut Daily Newspaper Association, Riverfront Recapture, and New England Newspaper Operations Association.
“We are devastated to learn of the passing of our dear friend Tom Anischik. Tom was a true champion for Hartford’s Camp Courant and for the hundreds of Hartford youth we serve each year,” said Corrianne Gagliardi Chipello, the camp’s executive director and CEO. “Our thoughts today are with Tom’s family and loved ones; his work to help make the lives better for so many children will never be forgotten.”
Anischik is survived by his wife of 37 years, Kathryn (Plifka) Anischik, as well as his daughter, Sarah Kristin Anischik, of Boston; his sisters, Debra Ann Anischik of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, and Cathleen Anischik Reid, and her husband, Christopher Reid of Holliston, Massachusetts; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Calling hours will be held Feb. 25 at Nickerson Funeral Home in Chatham from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Chatham. Capacity is limited at the funeral home and church. Social distancing and face masks will be enforced. A livestream of the Mass will be available at holyredeemerchatham.org. For more information visit nickersonfunerals.com.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Hartford’s Camp Courant, PO Box 207, Hartford, CT 06101 (campcourant.org).
Steven Goode can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.