The funeral service for Thomas Fitzsimmons of Verndale was held at 11 a.m. on March 28, at the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in Verndale. Tom Fitzsimmons, 81, passed away on March 25 in Wadena Township with family at his side.
Thomas LaVerne Fitzsimmons was born July 17, 1931 in Wing River Township, Minn. at his grandparent's farm to the late James and Violet Fitzsimmons. He attended country school at District 14 and graduated from Wadena High School in 1950.
After graduating from high school, Tom stayed and worked on the family
farm until he was drafted into the army in 1954. He completed basic training at Ft. Leonard, Mo. He received training at San Marcos, Texas, for rotary wing helicopter repair, then spent the rest of his service time in Ft. Lewis, Wash. After being honorably discharged in 1956 he returned home to Wing River Township and worked at various jobs in the community.
In 1957, Tom attended Emery Riddle School of Aviation in Miami, Fla. He received licenses for Air Frame and Power Plant, Private Pilot, and Ground Commercial. In 1959, he became employed as a mechanic with North Central Airlines. He retired in 1986 to his hobby farm in Aldrich Township, Minn. He was the proud owner of a 1948 PA12 Super Cruiser Tail Dragger airplane and enjoyed giving rides to family and friends. Tom was an outdoorsman, dog lover, naturalist, family historian, mechanic, and pilot. He enjoyed going on western hunting trips. Tom attended the Verndale Alliance Church.
Tom was preceded in death by his father James Thomas Fitzsimmons and mother Sylvia Violet (Speed); brother James Clinton (Norma); sister
Donna Kunze; and niece Terrie Kunze.
He is survived by nieces Carla (Gary) Johnson and Christy Fitzsimmons; nephews Tim (Diane) Kunze, Rudy (Rose) Fitzsimmons, Todd Kunze, Troy Kunze, Jay (Deb) Fitzsimmons; great nieces Heather Johnson, Jenna (Justin) Saewert, Sylvia (Jeremy) Olson, Tonia Fitzsimmons; great nephews Wyatt and Henry Fitzsimmons; and great-great niece Jessie
Burial was in Greenlawn Cemetery in Verndale.