Thomas Conlan

Published 1:00 am Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thomas Conlan

From meager beginnings, Tom was raised in a two-car garage by his wonderful mother, Eileen, a strong and determined woman who passed on those qualities to all of her sons, including Tom. This drive and his own opinion, which was, “I had nothing to lose, you couldn’t get any poorer than me,” eventually brought him from the local coal docks to president of River Trading Co., a coal company he began and ran for 26 years.

He always attributed his success to his first and only wife of 43 years, Dorothy, whose love and belief in him and his capabilities were never unwavering. Even with great success, Tom always regarded his wealth in his family and friends, wisely knowing how priceless they were.

With grand influence, he threw a large shadow while always making time for those who would seek advice, mentorship or a helping hand. He absolutely adored his dogs Sparky, Harley and Woody. Tom’s wit, comedic timing and ability to tell stories and adventures from his life became mesmerizing.

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His passion for speed began at a young age and continued throughout his life encompassing top fuel drag bikes, building and collecting hot rods, Ferraris, El Mirage and his personal pride and perseverance of racing the Bonneville Salt Flats year after year — when the weather allowed, of course. Friends and family alike will remember Tom for his strength of character, generosity and humor. This small world was a better place with him in it, so his family said to take the time to have a cold beer, lean against your car and remember when he made you smile. That’s all he would have really wanted, anyway. Well, besides that big damn statue, but you can’t win ’em all.

Tom is preceded in death by his mother, Eileen; and brother, David.

He will forever be remembered by his wife, Dorothy; sons David and Daniel; brother, William “Bill” (Mischa) Conlan; beloved dog, Woody; and a host of other loving relatives and friends. Visitation was from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. today at St. Vincent de Paul, 9100 93rd Ave. N in Brooklyn Park. Memorials are preferred to the animal charity of the donor’s choice.