Thomas A. Hafele

Thomas A Hafele was born on July 30, 1945 in Glendive. He passed away in Billings on March 14, 2017. 

Tom was preceded in death by his parents. He graduated from Richey High School in 1964 where he held a track record for the 440. He went to Dickinson State College on a track scholarship where he received his BA. After graduation he taught school in Mandaree, N.D. Tom married Mae Chrest in 1968 with whom he had two children.

Tom is survived by his daughter, Pam (Bob) Hafele Cullinan; grandson, Dillon; son, Troy (Val) Hafele of Glendive; sister, Elaine Hafele (Dave) Swanson; niece, Erin Swanson of Wells, Nev.; sister Marian Hafele (Clarence) Reidelbach; nephew, Scott Reidelbach; and niece, Cara Reidelbach Hicks of Big Timber. Tom is also survived by his cousins including David, Bernie, Lee and Bill Greiman; Barb, Bruce, Steve, Debra and Teresa Richert; Anne Greiman Freistone, Karen Greiman Reilly, Katie Greiman Gerke (deceased), Sandra Greiman Schwartz; and John Sura and Dan Caruso.

Farming was Tom’s great love; fishing wasn’t far behind. Summers found Tom on the river enjoying the great outdoors with his son, Troy, and grandson, Dillon. His vegetable and flower gardens were legendary and daughter, Pam, recalls that he never needed help hoeing as he had it covered. And please not step on his vines. He gave strict instructions to Troy and Pam on how to pick raspberries. His favorite pastime was hunting agates on the sandbars of the Yellowstone River. He spent many happy winter hours cutting and polishing agates in Troy’s garage. He reluctantly grew to love Dillon’s dog, Romo.

For ten winters, Tom spent time fishing and boating on the Colorado River near Parker, Ariz. Tom was a natural storyteller and enjoyed the company of his friends.

Special people in Tom’s life include his coach, Joe Whisonant; lifelong friends, Monte Fulton, Jim Soft, Don Klempel, Harvey Hamburg, Herb and Ralph Allard, and departed friend, Leroy Buxbaum.

Mike and LaRae Hagel invited Tom on many camping and fishing trips at Tobacco Gardens on Lake Sacagawea, N.D. These weekends were some of the happiest in Tom’s life.

Funeral services were held at the Savage Lutheran Church on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 11 a.m. Reception followed at the Savage Community Center.

On a fine Spring day Tom’s ashes will be scattered among the wild flowers at the farm.

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