Roland Wayne Thom, age 88 of Ellsworth, WI, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on February 20, 2021 after a courageous battle with Leukemia. Rollie was born November 19, 1932 in Red Wing, MN to Fred and Lorraine (Hanson) Thom. He was raised on a farm in Trimbelle Township WI and went to school in the school house there through 8th grade before leaving school to help on the family farm. Rollie proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps from 1951 through 1954, serving in the Korean War as a Tank Commander and Gunner on Tank C32.
After he was honorably discharged in 1954, he started working at the Red Wing Shoe Company. On June 26, 1956, Rollie was united in marriage to Rose Marie Kemmerer at St Mary’s Big River Catholic Church. Their marriage was blessed with 3 sons, Gary, Randolph and Ronald. Rollie worked for the Red Wing Shoe Company until 1968 when be purchased the Woodshed in Hager City WI. While owning and operating the Woodshed, he also ran his farm where he and his sons raised cattle. Hard working and business minded, they also owned and operated Bangers Pub in Winona MN and had a vending machine business for several years.
Outside of his work, Rollie enjoyed traveling to Las Vegas, Hawaii, Europe, Japan and back to Korea in 2004 with his son Ronnie.
Rollie will remain in the hearts of his sons, Gary (Mary) Thom of Ellsworth and Randy (Gretchen) Thom of Ellsworth; 5 grandchildren, Kayleigh Ann Thom & Leighton Ronald Thom, Ozmond Boigenzahn, Zach and Seth Lofgren; brother, Richard Thom of Ellsworth; brother-in-law, Stan (Cathy) Kemmerer; sister-in-law, Jean Ann Kemmerer; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rose; son, Ronnie; sister, Darlene Sachsenmaier; and parents, Fred and Lorraine Thom.
A Visitation will take place (masks and social distancing encouraged) 4:00 – 8:00 PM Thursday, February 25, 2021 at St. Mary’s Big River Catholic Church, W10137 570th Ave., River Falls, and one hour prior to Mass on Friday. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:30 AM Friday, February 26, 2021 at St. Mary’s Big River Catholic Church with Fr. Kevin Louis officiating. Interment with military honors by the Ellsworth Kinne-Engelhart American Legion – Post 204 will take place at St. Mary’s Big River Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers assisting with the service will be: Ozmond Boigenzahn, Chet Sachsenmaier, Scott Sachsenmaier, Dan Thom, Troy Kemmerer, Brian Kemmerer and Brad Kemmerer. Honorary pallbearers will be Kayleigh Thom and Leighton Thom. A gathering will immediately follow the interment at the Valley Bar and Grill.
A special thank you to family friend, Linda Becker for your help in taking care of Rollie over the years. Also thank you to John D Laughlin III DDS of Health Centered Dentistry, the doctors and nurses at Minnesota Oncology and Allina Health Hospice.
Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Funeral Home of Ellsworth (715) 273-4421 www.oconnellbenedict.com