LeRoy W. Thom, 93, passed away peacefully at his residence near Hastings, NE, on July 29, 2018.
Services are 10:30 A.M. Thursday, August 2, at Peace Lutheran Church located at 906 California Ave., Hastings, NE with Rev. Marcus J. Mackay officiating. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Hastings. Visitation will be at 1-8 P.M. Wednesday at the funeral home, and one hour prior to service at the church. Memorials may be given to Peace Lutheran Church.
LeRoy, the youngest of seven children, was born April 9, 1925, to John and Johannah (Peters) Thom on a farm near Ravenna, NE. LeRoy married Jean E. Ballance on September 5, 1948, in Lincoln, and they raised four sons.
LeRoy graduated from Grand Island High School in 1942 and from the University of Nebraska with a BS in Agricultural Engineering in 1949. LeRoy was a pilot in the Naval Air Corp during WWII from 1943-1945. After graduating from college, LeRoy worked for the Soil Conservation Service as an engineer in Scottsbluff, NE, and then worked for Foxley and Company at one of their ranches in Montana.
LeRoy was President of T-L Irrigation Co., which he founded in 1955, manufacturing hydraulic irrigation systems for farmers in the U.S. and many other countries. He owned and operated a farming operation, a cattle feeding operation and cattle ranches in Nebraska and Montana.
LeRoy was a member of Peace Lutheran Church. Some of LeRoy’s professional and civic affiliations include: chairman of the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank (1990-1996), member of the Nebraska State Highway Commission (1967-1973), member of the Board of Trustees for Hastings College (1981-1999), director and vice president of the Nebraska Water Resources Assoc., member of the American Assoc. of Agricultural Engineers, along with a long-term relationship with Concordia University in Seward, NE.
LeRoy received the Hastings College President’s Award in 1990, was named the University of Nebraska’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997, was inducted into the Biological System Engineers’ Hall of Fame in 2000, received the University of Nebraska’s Board of Regents’ award for outstanding contribution to Nebraska agriculture in 2001, and was presented with the honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration from Hastings College in 2009. He earned many other awards during his lifetime and was a generous supporter of the community.
LeRoy was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Elmer Thom, Raymond Thom, Clarence Thom, and Melvin Thom; sisters, Lillian Bispo and Alice Voss.
Survivors include wife, Jean Thom, Hastings; children Michael Thom (Lois) of Minden, Thomas Thom (Ladena), David Thom (Janis), and James Thom (Jean) all of Hastings. Grandchildren Chris Thom (Amanda), Nick Thom (Kirsten), Joshua Thom, Casey Thom (Ruthie), Chelsea Thom, Elizabeth Peshek (Blake), Jennifer Stutzman (Jake), Benjamin Thom, Sarah Crawford (Chase), Amanda Jacobitz (Nate), John Thom (Ashley), Johannah Thom, and 21 great-grandchildren.