Thomas Melville Hoppenrath was born on April 2nd, 1932 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He passed away peacefully at his home in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota at 7:50am on January 29th, 2020. He was 87 years old. He was surrounded by his wife and two youngest children.
Tom enlisted in the army in 1948 and spent time abroad in Germany. Upon his return to the United States, he was introduced to Marjorie Marion Ostlie and they were married on September 7th, 1953. Together, they raised four sons and one daughter. After Marge's passing in 1986, Tom met Leticia Garcia in New York and they were married on April 13th, 1988. Together, they raised one son and one daughter.
He was passionate about his work, whether he was a pressman, a farmer, a tire engineer or a truck driver. He always tried to be the best at what he did. He taught his children that if they kept a stiff upper lip and their nose to the grindstone, good things would happen - as long as they were on time for it. Tom loved his children and made sure to do whatever he needed to do to help them. His other loves included trucks, cars, cribbage, bowling and the Philippines. He stood up for his beliefs and always spoke his mind. He liked people and never had problems starting a friendly conversation with someone he just met. He lived life on his own terms and believed that everyone should be allowed to lead the life that made them happiest. Tom was a great role model and he is dearly missed.
Tom was survived by his wife of nearly 32 years, Letty; his siblings: Jim, Shirley, Dave, Phil, Jackie and Jenny; his seven children: Tommy (Kelly), Steve (Wanda), Brian (Cindy), Kathleen (Jim) Helmin, Chuck (Cara), Chantilli (Ben Thalhuber), and Richard; his ten grandchildren and his fourteen great grandchildren.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife of over 33 years, Marge; his parents: Melville and Bessie; his siblings: Melba, Rick and Berniece; his nephew, Mike (Survived by Carmelita); and his cousin, Joan (Wayne) Melander.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later time with more information to come.
Tommy , you were my big brother and I looked up to you. I was proud to have you in my life. I was lucky enough to spend weeks at a time with you and Margie, even while she was carrying your oldest son. Of course that was years ago but I will never forget you Tom. You've traveled a long road and were lucky to find someone to spend the rest of your life with after Marge passed. You left 7 great children in your wake. My heart goes out to Lettie and all your children and grandchildren. You will be missed but now it's time to rest in heaven. I will remember you. Your sister Shirley
Tom was a great man and taught me many things including how to bowl and play cribbage. Despite how bad I was at bowling, he never gave up. He introduced me to the music of Conway Twitty which Chantilli and I would sing to on the car rides home from middle school. He always had great stories to tell, including the one about his jeep in the Philippines. So sorry for you loss. Tom will be greatly missed.
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