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Tom's Story

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Tom Hergenrother died peacefully surrounded by his family at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, MO at the age of 74 on September 18, 2017.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Kathryn, daughter Rachelle (Tom) Shipley, son Brett (Kristen) Hergenrother, and son JD (fiance Erin Burton) Hergenrother. Sisters: Judy Kull, Glenna (Walt) Ostmann. Tom was the loving "Papa" to his six grandchildren: Brett Orsay, Nathan Hergenrother, Megan Shipley, Katie Hergenrother, Andrew Hergenrother, and Jack Hergenrother. He could always be found at the sidelines of all of his grandchildren's sporting events throughout the years.

Tom was born on December 21, 1942, in Arapahoe, Nebraska to Glen and Lois Hergenrother. He graduated from Chase County High School in Imperial, NE in 1961 and joined the United States Navy where he toured the globe from the USS Henry Clay. He met and married Mary Kathryn McCawley in 1966 and they lived in Charleston, SC until his honorable discharge in 1968.

The young couple soon moved to Omaha, NE where Tom pursued his degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha while working at Western Electric.

After their first two children, Brett and Rachelle, were born in Omaha, Tom followed an opportunity to work at WR Grace in Joplin, MO. While in Joplin, the couple befriended John and Dorothy Duffy who were later awarded the Coors Beer distribution rights for southwestern Missouri. A few years after the move to Joplin the family was graced with the final addition, the youngest son, JD.

Tom joined Duffy distributors in 1977 and helped fuel the company's growth over the next 30 years. He retired after a fulfilling career from Duffy Distributors as Vice-President of Operations in 2006.

Outside of work, Tom was active coaching his kids' baseball and softball teams and never missed a game. He loved to cook big meals on the holidays and over the last few years was quick to help his kids with their own home improvement projects.

Tom and Mary Kathryn relocated to St Louis, MO in June, 2017 to live close to their 3 kids and 6 grandchildren. They soon joined the parish of The Basilica of St. Louis, King (fondly known as The Old Cathedral), and had begun volunteering with the Little Bit Foundation.

A Mass of Celebration of Tom's life will be held in St. Louis at the Old Cathedral on Friday, September 22, at 10 a.m.
Published on September 21, 2017
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