Thomas Smith, 79

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Funeral Service for Thomas J. Smith of New Richland will be held at 11a.m. Tuesday at the First Congregational Church in New Richland. The Rev. Pamela Jensen will officiate. Interment will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery, New Richland. Military honors will be accorded by New Richland Veteran’s Organizations. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the First Congregational Church in New Richland and one hour before the service at the church. Friedrich Funeral Home, New Richland is assisting the family with arrangements.
Thomas Jefferson Smith III passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital early Tuesday morning April 2, 2009, at the age of 79.
Tom was born on March 13, 1930, in New Richland to Harry and Amanda (Jeddeloh) Smith. He graduated from New Richland-Hartland High School in 1948 where he was a standout in basketball and football. After a short hitch in the U.S. Navy, he attended Mankato State College where he graduated in 1953. He continued his education with graduate work at Mankato State University, University of Iowa and Oklahoma State University. In 1953 Tom went to Peterson High School where he was a social studies and physical education teacher. He also coached football, basketball and baseball. He was the only coach in the school system. He moved on to McGregor High School in 1955 where he taught social studies and coached football and baseball and served as the school’s athletic director.
He was united in marriage to Marilyn (Marsh) Smith on October 7, 1956, in McGregor. He returned home to New Richland-Hartland High School in 1957. He went on to serve that school for 30 years, 25 years as their athletic director and many years in a variety of coaching positions. He served as executive secretary of the Gopher Conference for 20 years. He served on the District 2 and Region 1 committees. Twice, in 1982 and 1987, he was recipient of the Region 1 Athletic Director of the Year award, and in 1987 received the Butch Nash award for his 31 years as an assistant football coach. He was involved in directing MSHSL athletic programs for 50 continuous years and served as sub-section coordinator for five sports in Section 2A from 1991-2006.
He was a member of the Congregational Church in New Richland. He served on many boards and was Sunday School superintendent and teacher.
His hobbies included golfing, fishing, playing cards, reading westerns and he also enjoyed farming and raising beef cattle.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, of 52 years; four children, Scott (Donette) of Owatonna, Rod of Rice Lake, Wis., Kay Jensen of New Richland and Rita of Owatonna; three grandsons, Spencer, Taylor and Preston; one brother, Don, (Audreene) of New Richland; one brother-in-law, Clayton; sisters-in-law, Evelyn Smith and Bettie Smith; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Amanda; two brothers Dick and Dale; one sister, Harriet; one sister-in-law, RoseAnn; and one grandson, Brandon. He will be deeply missed!

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