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November 11, 1951 ~ August 17, 2023 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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Tom VanWesten, age 71, of Lakefield, Minnesota, passed away on Thursday, August 17, 2023, at the Sandford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Visitation will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lakefield, with a rosary service beginning at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to mass on Thursday. Funeral Mass will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 24, 2023, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father Jonathan Fasnacht officiating. Burial will follow at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery.
Thomas Lynn VanWesten, son of Douglas and Elizabeth (Schlager) VanWesten, was born on Sunday, November 11, 1951, in Lakefield, Minnesota. He was baptized and confirmed into the Catholic Faith at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lakefield. Thomas attended school in Jackson through the 9th grade and graduated from Sioux Valley High School in 1970. On April 20, 1974, he was united in marriage to Vickey McKenna at St. Joseph’s Church. Thomas and Vickey lived in various places throughout Jackson County. In 1978, they bought their forever home together in Lakefield, where they raised 3 daughters Faith, Angela, and Amy. Thomas worked a variety of jobs including the Creamery in Sioux Valley, the ethanol plant in Lakefield, Hugo Schultz in Lakefield, and the Co-Op in Lakefield, where he retired from. Upon Vickey’s passing in 2017, Thomas remained living in Lakefield. On Thursday, August 17, 2023, Thomas passed away at the Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 71 years, 9 months, and 6 days.
Thomas was a very talented, caring, and slightly stubborn gentleman. He loved chatting with his family, friends, and anyone that he came across, always having a story to tell. Thomas and Vickey enjoyed riding motorcycle in their younger days, camping and attending the races. Thomas was always willing to help others out when needed. He was an avid football and baseball fan. Thomas loved spending time with his family, and was a huge supporter of his grandchildren, attending any and all sporting events, or school events, they were involved in. He will be greatly missed his family and all that had the pleasure of knowing him.
Left to cherish Thomas’s memories are his mother Elizabeth VanWesten; daughters: Faith (Brian) Witt of Ocheyedan, Angela (Rustin) Kaderabek of Lakefield, and Amy (Josh) Belben of Lakefield; 9 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; brothers: John (Linda) VanWesten, Joe (Janelle) VanWesten, and Paul (Karen) VanWesten; sisters: Patricia Steffen, Susan (Arnie) Heberle, and Sara (Larry) Davis; along with numerous nieces, nephews, extended family members and great friends.
Thomas is preceded in death by his wife of 42 years Vickey; father Douglas; son Mattew in 1976; sister Linda VanWesten, and nephew Lance Steffen.