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Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin
Life Story / Obituary
Thomas Ralph Weidner, a proud Veteran of the Marines, passed away at age 72 on Sunday June 6, 2021, at home surrounded by loved ones. The son of Ralph and Jean (Nee:Heinisch) Weidner, Tom grew up in Racine, WI. He was born June 4, 1949 and attended St. John’s Lutheran Elementary School and Lutheran High School, graduating with the “Class of 1967”.
At the age of 18, Tom enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He proudly served from 1967- 1971, attaining the rank of Corporal. Tom was in the thick of the Vietnam War, serving bravely for 20 months before making it home safely. Even though he would always downplay it, what Tom did for his country at such a young age is truly remarkable and has left his family in awe. Upon his return from Vietnam, Tom enrolled at Gateway Technical College where he played one year on the basketball team. His family unearthed a Journal Times article from January 31, 1973, in which Tom scored 4 points and hauled in 3 rebounds. There’s even a picture to prove it.
Tom was a man of many skills who could always be relied upon to put in a hard day’s work. For 13 years he worked alongside his brother Skip at US Vinylux, which was owned by their father Ralph. From there, Tom was employed by Racine Business Center for 16 years. It was here where Tom came into his own and truly became a leader. Starting as a maintenance man, Tom was elevated to the head of maintenance and then worked his way up to building manager. In 2008, he moved to Las Vegas where he worked at Show Case Retail Management for 7 years. Located on the Las Vegas Strip, these years were the source of many funny stories. He then retired and returned home to Racine where he worked part time at Lee’s Hardware, his dream job. Tom will always be remembered for his wisdom, blunt advice, distinctive laugh, and how sweet he was to everyone at the very end. Annoyingly humble, Tom was a top ten pool player in town for 20 years. He was an electrician at heart who could fix almost anything. Above all, he was a loving father and grandfather who will be dearly missed.
Tom is survived by: former wife Sandy Weidner; children Riley (Kari) Weidner, Sarah Weidner; former wife Florence Weidner; step-daughter, Kelli (Mike) Weiss; grandchildren, Kallie, Alyssa, Sophia, Jakob, and Oliver; great granddaughters, Ava and Vivian; brother, Skip (Stephanie) Weidner; step-siblings, Linda Weidner, Rhonda (Dorian) Weronke, Paul-Michael Weidner (Kristine Lemley); nieces, nephews, and many other relatives and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Jean; longtime step-mother, Shirley Weidner; and step- brother/best friend Jeff Weidner.
A memorial service will be held at the funeral home Thursday, July 22, 2021, 11:00 am. Interment with full military honors will follow at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Town of Dover. Relatives and friends may meet prior to the service 10 - 11 am. Memorials to Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin have been suggested.
Tom wanted to share a special thank you to everyone who provided care for him over the last 6 months.