In Memory


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04/28/10 12:29 PM #1    

Wayne Smith

Tom in high school was perhaps the most mature, solid citizen I ever knew. A great friend always. He taught me the value of straight talk. Never one to mince words, Tom in his quiet but unrelenting way, showed a lot of us (whether we knew it at the time or not) what quiet leadership really was all about.

04/30/10 03:00 AM #2    

Rich Akins

I remember reconnecting with Tom at a surprise 50th B-Day party his brother threw for him.  Tom hadn't changed much from his P-ville days.  He is probably one of the most down-to-earth, unassuming, hardworking people I've ever known.  If Tom said he'd do something, he did it!

A good scholar, good athlete and genuinely good person!  A very rare breed!

08/10/10 11:54 AM #3    

Art Bell

Tom died in April of 1998.  He had been taking a lot of aspirins for his arthritic pain and probably had a bleeding ulcer.  He had banged up his knees playing football with several surgeries to his knees. Playing catcher on the baseball team didn't help either. Tom loved to compete and play sports. I think the only thing he loved more was Carol.

Tom left behind Carol Schmittel Bell, with whom he had Susan in 1969 and Tom in 1971. Susan is married with 2 kids, Nathan (looks just like Tom) and Issac.  She graduated from Mizzou.  Tom followed his Dad to Rolla (UMR) and graduated with a BS in Mining Engineering. He blows up big rocks into little rocks for Fred Webber.  I think they stack them in big piles too. Just Kidding Tommy. Tom would be very proud of his children----they have both done very well and have great families.

Carol has remarried to a very nice man both she and Tom knew in Louisiana, Mo, Junior Clark.  Junior lost his wife to cancer.  Junior and Carol split time between St. Charles, Mo and Louisiana, Mo.

Tom was my best friend and I always looked up to him. We had so many good times together.  We continuously played sports together---we were always making up some kind of baseball game.  He was probably a better athlete than me, but I would never admit that to him. We worked sooo many summers on the farm (remember Jimmy ?) I think Warren Schulte was there one summer. We had too many good times at Rolla.  Tom was just fun to be around and could he ever drink---he drank me under the table too many times to remember.  We especially had fun with drinking games at the old frat house---he and I would team up against pledges and get them drunk.

Tom was very goal oriented---he knew what he wanted out of life  (unlike myself).  He graduated from Rolla with a BS in Chemical Engineering. He started as a process engineer and worked his way up to an Executive Vice President with IRECO Chemicals.  He put too much into his work. I also think that contributed to his death . If you knew Tom, once he put his mind to someting he did it 100%.

I know my Mom and Dad were and still are proud of Tom  He provided well for his family and taught his kids how to succeed in this world by example.

Some more personal thoughts about Tom.  I can still remember Tom riding me on the handle bars of our bike down the steep hill on McKelvey Rd along Vohsen's farm (Chatham Village now) going to Elmer Klump's house next to the RR tracks.  We would hit flys and grounders in the field and play " hot box" or "rundown"  with me alway in the middle. We had so much fun.  Tom included me with his friends.  Tom would even take me and Jim Schmittel along with him and Carol to the movies.  He must have been getting "quality time" at other places, you know what I mean.

I fondly remember:  Warren Schulte, Jim Ferrari, Buck Stroop, Gary Stroup, Pete Noonan, Dave Hamilton, Elmer Klump, Donnie Kimmel, Johnny Vohsen, Bill Patredis, Jerry Ledbetter, Mike Daft, Rich Riddle, Bob Hotchkiss, Terry Teter, Doug Bensinger, Don Ascoli, Dave Viehman, Tom McAfee, Mike Woodruff.  I  also remember all the hot girls in that class----way too many to mention, except for my favorite, who happened to marry my brother---Carol Schmittel.

To say I miss Tom is an understatement. We would have been in the prime of our lives with many adventures to still undertake with lots of golf to play, grandkids to play with, cigars to smoke and many more beers to drink.

Tom, rest in peace.




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