Memorial services will be held Monday, June 8, at 10:30 a.m. at the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Cherokee. Rev. Ethan D. Sayler will officiate. Burial will be in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Cherokee, and there will be military rites at the gravesite by L.A. Wescott Post #2253 of the V.F.W. Visitation, with the family present will be on Sunday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee. On line condolences may be left at www.boothbyfuneral.com.
Thomas was born June 27, 1927 in Sioux Rapids to Irving and Byrdie (Chalma) Andersen, and graduated from Wilson High School in Cherokee in 1945.
While at Wilson, he wrote for the school newspaper, was a member of the Pen and Quill Club, competed in track and was the Senior Class President. He was married to Marguerite Ellen France on Jan. 22, 1955 at the home of her parents, Ray and Millicent France, in Cherokee.
Tom had a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy from 1945 until 1986. He rose from the enlisted ranks of the Navy and retired with the rank of Captain. Tom earned a BA degree in Southeast Asian studies as well as a Master's in Business Administration from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and also attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington D.C. in 1973. He served two tours of duty in Viet Nam in 1965 and 1972, served as the Supply Officer of the carrier U.S.S. Independence from 1975-1977, and was the first commanding officer of the Naval Supply Center in Pensacola, Fla., which he established.
After retiring from the U.S. Navy he worked for three years as a civilian consultant to the Kuwaiti Air Force , where he helped them computerize their inventory.After retirement, Tom and Marguerite toured the U.S. on Harley Davidson motorcycles. Tom was also an avid endurance athlete, competing in several marathons, and was the founder and first race director for the Blue Angel Marathon in Pensacola, Fla. Tom completed the Pike's Peak Ascent to 14,110 feet near Colorado Springs in 2001, and in his seventies competed four years in a row in the Colorado 24 -hour relay, in which he was usually the oldest competitor.
Tom's friends and family will remember him as a kind and loving man who lived his life according to values and accomplished a great deal. Many friends and family members will miss him. He was preceded in death by his parents; his step-mother, Grace Andersen; his daughter, Cynthia Ray Andersen Terzian; and a brother-in-law, Gordon Steele. He is survived by his wife, Marguerite Ellen (France) Andersen.; his son Chris Andersen and his wife Anne Meyer Andersen of Tulsa, Oklahoma; his grandchildren, Dean Reynolds Stanton, Renee Michelle Andersen, and Morgan Chalma Andersen; his sister, Joan Steele of Cherokee; his brother, Paul Andersen of Hattiesburg, Miss.; and sons-in-law Charles Terzian and Thomas Stanton.