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October 18, 1932 - August 1, 2008

Thomas was born October 18, 1932 in Winnebago, Minnesota to Ferdinand and Patricia (Roberts) Mengis.  They lived there, and for a short time in Buffalo, Minnesota before moving to Spring Valley, Minnesota where he graduated from the Spring Valley High School in 1951.  From 1953 to 1955 he served in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany.  He worked on the pipeline for Standard Oil Company before getting a degree in mechanical drafting.  On July 14, 1956 he was united in marriage to LaVonne E. Zimmerman in Rochester, Minnesota.  He worked for American Derrick and Hoist in St. Paul before furthering his education at the University of Minnesota getting a degree in Mortuary Science.  In 1967 they moved to Mabel where he took over the Mengis Funeral Home from his father until 1997, but continued to help his son with the business until becoming ill earlier this year.
They also operated the Mabel Variety Store for 15 years until its closing in 1996. 

As a young boy Tom was fascinated with aviation.  He would later go on to get his pilot's certificate and had restored an antique airplane.  He had an interest in anything mechanical and had a steam engine for a number of years.  Tom was active in the community and had held offices in many organizations.  He was a member of the St. Olaf Catholic Church in Mabel, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and EAA Chapter 1281 in Decorah, Iowa, the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association, and a former member of the Mabel Business Association, the Toot and Whistle Club, and the Hesper-Mabel Area Historical Society.

Tom passed away Friday, August 1, 2008 at his home from pancreatic cancer at the age of 75.

Thomas is survived by his wife LaVonne of Mabel; five children Terry (Wayne) Austin of Mabel, Jean Mengis of Bloomington, Minnesota, Lisa (Mike) Stone of Stewartville, Minnesota, Tim (Elaine) of Mabel, and Steve of Rochester; eight grandchildren Nathan, Riley, and Jacob Austin, Naysha and Bethany Stone, Kristina and Alexander Mengis, and Braedon Mengis; a brother James
(Eileen) of Iowa City, Iowa; a sister Mary Ann McDermott of Woodbury, Minnesota; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by an infant son and his parents.

Funeral Mass will be 11 AM Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at the St. Olaf Catholic Church in Mabel with Father Donald P. Schmitz officiating.  Burial will be in the Mabel Public Cemetery in Mabel with military rites by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Visitation will be 4 - 8 PM Monday, August 4 at the Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel and one hour prior to services at the church. A prayer service will be at 7:30 PM  at the funeral home.
Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.


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