Thomas Bernard Nathe, age 78, of Grey Eagle, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
Tom was born October 25, 1935 in New Munich to John and Edna (Bohnen) Nathe. He graduated from Melrose High School in 1953, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served in Korea until 1956. He attended the Northwest Electronics Institute and was employed by Honeywell in their Avionics Division for over 30 years, where he proudly worked on gyroscopes for the space shuttle program. After his retirement in 1992, he moved to his home on Little Birch Lake in Grey Eagle and enjoyed his life there for the next 20 years. He entered the Talahi Senior Center in June, 2013, where he received great care and physical therapy, and defied the odds by beginning to walk again over the winter. He was looking forward to returning to his lake home later this spring when he suffered a heart attack that took his life a few days later. He passed away peacefully at the St. Cloud Hospital, listening to Elvis tunes and clutching a poker chip, shot glass, and dice from Vegas, surrounded by his loving family.
Tom was a member of the Tri-City American Legion Post #513, VFW, and served on the Little Birch Lake Association, where he earned the nickname El Presidente;. He looked forward to heading to Bowbells, ND every fall to hunt and fish with his buddies, and enjoyed golfing and gambling in Las Vegas and Laughlin, NV. He was a big Elvis fan, and rode in Grey Eagles summer parade dressed as him. He was an avid NASCAR fan, especially of Dale Earnhardt, Sr., and rarely missed a race.
Tom is survived by his daughters, Pamela (Guy) Fredricks, Maple Grove, Michele (Michael McNeil), Minneapolis, and Kelly (John Fields), Los Angeles, CA; five grandchildren, Melissa, Katelyn, and Danielle Fredricks, Ruby Fields, and Ian McNeil; brother, Dick (Paulette), St. Cloud; sister-in-law, Beverly, Avon; sister, Jean (Bob) Shorthill, Belgrade, MT; and his many friends from the Double R who were like family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and older brother, Gerry.
A memorial service in Grey Eagle and interment at Camp Ripley is being planned for Tom in June, 2014.
Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services, Melrose.