Thomas H. “Tom” Wiegand
- January 2, 2023
Thomas H. “Tom” Wiegand
Thomas H. “Tom” Wiegand, 80, of Cedar Rapids, formerly of Independence, died Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Helen G. Nassif Transitional Care Center in Cedar Rapids, from illness following surgery for an aortic dissection.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Marion, with visitation one hour prior to the service. A luncheon will follow at the church. A private family inurnment will take place at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.
Thomas Henry Wiegand was born Feb. 21, 1942, in Independence, the son of Walter Edward and Doris (Kappmeyer) Wiegand. He graduated from Independence High School in 1960. He served in the U.S. Army from August 1960 to August 1963, including one year with the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Laos and Thailand and one year as a company clerk with the Armed Forces Police in Washington, D.C.
Following an honorable discharge from the Army, Tom worked for three years as a silk screener and sign painter for White Front Stores in Los Angeles. In 1966, he returned to Independence and worked part time as a bartender while attending the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He graduated with a bachelor’s of art in secondary speech and English from UNI in 1969. During this time, he fathered a daughter who was placed for adoption.
On Aug. 1, 1970, Tom was united in marriage to Marlene Joan Linse at her parents’ home in Cedar Rapids. They welcomed two children: Heather Nicole in 1972 and Heidi Ellen in 1976. The family made its home in Independence, where Tom taught language arts for 35 years, including seven years at the high school and 28 years in eighth grade at the middle school. He received his master’s of art in middle school education with an emphasis in language arts and his permanent teaching certificate in 1988. He retired in May 2004 and enjoyed a retirement trip to Chicago with Heather that summer.
In 2005 Tom and Marlene moved to Cedar Rapids to be near her parents and their grandson, Noah, who was born in 2004 with special needs. They aided in Noah’s care from birth, and provided full-time childcare for him from ages 3-6, calling it the best unpaid job they could have. They also gathered with daughter, Heidi, son-in-law, Brad, and grandson, Noah for church and lunch every Sunday, which Tom continued after Marlene’s death in 2016.
Tom was very active in the church, having served on the council and parish education committee and as Sunday school superintendent at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Independence. As a member of St. Mark’s in Cedar Rapids, Tom taught many classes and small groups, including Alpha, Crossways and The Chosen. He felt blessed to travel to Israel, Greece and Italy on trips organized by St. Mark’s.
Tom was also active physically. He took up running in the early 1980s and completed several 10k races, a half marathon and a marathon. He also enjoyed playing golf with friends for many years. When he moved to the Village Cooperative in 2017, he became well known for walking briskly through the halls with his earbuds in, humming along to his playlists and wishing people “an above average day.”
Tom loved living at the Village. He especially enjoyed leading Bible studies, playing penny ante poker and attending the coffee roundtable, happy hour and birthday celebrations. He had served as first vice president on the board of directors. He met fellow resident Donna Troxel at the coffee roundtable and they became a couple. They enjoyed many activities together, including three trips to Green Valley, Ariz., and daily wine time. Tom also enjoyed reading, telling jokes, cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes, watching movies and painting with acrylics.
In early 2022, Tom was blessed to connect with Carla (Hamer) Solem, the daughter he had fathered during college before meeting Marlene. He was grateful to meet Carla and her family in-person and begin to develop a relationship even while in hospice.
Tom is survived by his daughters, Heather (Charles) Sauer of Boone, Heidi (Brad) Conerd of Cedar Rapids and Carla (Mark) Solem of Detroit Lakes, Minn.; grandsons, Noah Conerd, Matt (Julia) Solem of Fargo, N.D., and Nick Solem of Bloomington, Minn.; step-grandson, Mike Solem of Helena, Mont.; step-great-granddaughter, Evie Solem; sister, Suzanne (Terry) Lee of Green Valley, Ariz.; sisters-in-law, Yvonne “Vonni” Wiegand of La Habra, Calif., and Joyce Muhlhauser of St. Louis, Mo.; his partner, Donna Troxel of Cedar Rapids; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 46 years; parents; parents-in-law, Marcus “Mark” and Lois Linse; brother, Gary; brother-in-law, James “Jim” Muhlhauser; and nephews, Derek Lee and James Michael “Mike” Muhlhauser.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Arc of East Central Iowa.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Gallegos and the cardiothoracic surgery team, Dr. Scott and the vascular surgery team, and the nursing and technical staff members at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines; Dr. Smith, Dr. Maan, Dr. Kray and the nursing and technical staff at St. Luke’s Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation in Cedar Rapids; the palliative care teams at both hospitals; Dr. Younger, hospice nurse Jason and the nursing and technical staff at TCC; church friends John Mosinski and Anita Haughenberry; and his many friends at the Village. We are very grateful for the care and support given to Tom and to all of us.
Online condolences are welcome at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.