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Thomas Raymond VarilekThomas Raymond Varilek was born to Frank H. and Tillie (Plavec) Varilek on October 25, 1949 in Tyndall, SD. His schooling began in a one-room schoolhouse, Dunwoody District #23. He graduated Tyndall High School in the class of ‘67. In 1971, he achieved his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Tom began his professional career at Pacific Gas and Electric Company in San Francisco, CA where he met the love of his life, Dina (Albon). They married on December 2, 1972. Tom was an unselfish and devoted family man. In 1974, they moved to Duluth, MN, where Tom worked at Minnesota Power & Light. In 1987, Tom, his wife and their three daughters moved to Ankeny, IA where he worked for Iowa Power and, eventually, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation until his retirement in 2010.
Tom had diverse hobbies which included singing, ballroom dancing, Huna healing and hypnotherapy. Tom was driven to help and heal all he could in the world. He served as President of St. Vincent de Paul – Des Moines diocese from 2008 until his untimely death. Some of Tom’s other community involvements included Physics Society, Engineers Club, Kirkendall Public Library Foundation, Social Concern Committee – St. Luke’s, National Guild of Hypnotists, and being an officer for ballroom dance clubs: Red Friars, Castle Club and Dance Club 76.
Tom passed away on Monday, February 25, 2013 at the age of 63.
Tom is survived by his wife, Dina and his three daughters, Tara, Tanya and Tylia; his siblings Francis Varilek and Sally Boyd of Mission Hill, Daniel Varilek of Tyndall,SD, JoAnn (John) Jonas of Yankton, SD, Irene Koranda of Tabor, SD, David Varilek of Tabor, SD, Charles (Julie) Varilek of Estes Park, CO, and Kenneth (Jeanne) Varilek of Springfield, SD; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of his life is being planned in the Des Moines area. For details to this event email: CelebratingTom@gmail.com
In lieu of flowers, the family asks you donate to NAMI Greater Des Moines, PO Box 12174, Des Moines, IA 50312 in Tom’s name.
Hi I was sorry to see where Tom had passed away.I was in the class of 67 w/Tom and he was always a nice classmate to me. He seemed to carry out his outgoing and good personality as he went along in life. He got involved and seemed to make things happen. We are very sorry for all of you in the passing of Tom. Remember all the good memories when your feeling a loss. God-Bless you as he and the family have been in our prayers.
Loren and Judy Berndt Apr 5 2013 1:10 PM
Our deepest sympathy to Tom's family. Tom & I were classmates at Tyndall High, Class of 67. I remember Tom as a good person and hard worker. I believe he was the student manager for the great Tyndall Panther State Champion Track Teams in 1966 and 1967 that my father, Howard Taplett, coached.
Ken & Joan Taplett Mar 11 2013 6:42 PM
Dina and the girls, I worked with Tom at Farm Bureau for several years prior to my retirement. He was not a corporate suit personality and thus always fun and interesting to chat with. I sensed he was a fellow philosopher, enjoying the journey of life as best he could. It was very, very evident how much he adored his wife and daughters. Dancing with Dina was a great delight for him. And what a fun memory I have of them dancing before a performance at IFBF annual meeting. A picture of grace in motion! I will remember him as a gentle spirit and a family man. I send to all of you who loved him heartfelt condolences and I hope you know he is in Heaven for sure, wearing his dancing shoes... Peace and Sympathy to you and may loving memories remain. Sally Waters
Sally Waters Mar 9 2013 9:39 AM
I was so sorry to read about your loss. I so enjoyed knowing both of you through dancing lessons with Betty and Cosmo and other good times we all shared dancing. Tom always made everyone feel welcome. My prayers go out to you.
Jane Warren Mar 7 2013 6:26 AM
Dina, Tara, Tanya and Tylia- I worked with Tom at Farm Bureau and considered him a voice of reason on many issues that came up there. He was generous in sharing his knowledge, telling jokes (puns were his favorites), as well as sharing many stories about you. He was so proud of each of you and your individual achievements. My prayers and thoughts have been with you this past week, and will continue.
Dal Grooms Mar 6 2013 8:02 AM
Our sympathy to Tom's family. I also was in the THS class of '67. I remeber Tom as always being a happy outgoing guy. He was a great friend to all. It sounds like that carried out through his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Wayne and Arlo Raabe Koletzky Mar 5 2013 4:32 PM
Dina and girls, I could barely believe what I read in the MP Power Gram this morning. My sincere condolences. I so enjoyed working with Tom and have missed him and your family ever since he left MP.
Margie Waechter Mar 5 2013 10:28 AM
Dina and family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We didn't get to see Tom very often but was always a pleasure to talk to him when the opportunity occurred.
Joe and Marie-Louise Plavec Mar 5 2013 12:54 AM
We are so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to know and spend time with Tom. He touched so many lives through his dedicated service to so many organizations. His passion for dancing and music inspired so many of people, myself included, to enjoy dancing as much as he did with Dina. He spoke so proudly of his girls and their accomplishments and time he spent with them. Our thoughts and prayers to the family. Jonathan and Ann Balashaitis
Ann and Jonathan Balashaitis Mar 4 2013 2:36 PM
So sorry to hear about Tom's passing. I just saw the obituary today. I graduated in EE from the School of Mines with Tom in 1971. We both worked at PG&E for about a year before I was called to the Army. I remember Tom just as he is described in his obituary. It doesn't surprise me that he had such a nice family and a successful career.
Greg Farke Mar 4 2013 11:43 AM