Thomas Edward Thelen passed freely away into the arms of our Lord on Oct. 13, 2017. He left our world surrounded by his family and loved ones after a lifetime of courage battling numerous afflictions. Tom was born on Aug. 31, 1955, in Billings, to James and Jo Thelen, the second child of 11.
Tom attended Billings Central Catholic School, where he managed the football teams and built lifelong friendships. After graduating Eastern Montana College with a degree in psychology, Tom worked at EPCON Sign Group as the credit manager with all of his brothers. Tom truly enjoyed going to work daily and visiting with his co-workers, whom he always considered some of his closest friends.
He was an avid collector of classic die cast cars, especially Belairs and Mustangs. He had a soft spot for Volkswagen Beetle as well. Tom also had an incredible love of music, which was one of the biggest passions in his life. It served as daily therapy and escape from his numerous physical ailments.
Tom was quick-witted to the very end. His love of laughter was evident in his selection of comedy television shows that he watched daily. He had a passion for sports and his favorite sports teams were the Redskins, Dodgers and the Penguins.
Faith, family and friends were the center of his world. He cared and prayed for everyone who was in need. Tom was truly a selfless man; he always put everyone’s needs ahead of his own.
His father, grandparents, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends preceded him in death. He is survived by his beloved mother, Jo; his siblings, Tim (Cindy), Therese (Sam) Campbell, Tamara (Dick) Brekke, Todd (Paullette), Tony (Jill), Tracey (Jim) Blome, Tana (Warren) Helmer, Terry (Karen), Trisha (Chris) Ryan, and Tara (John) Roberts. Also surviving are 70 nieces and nephews, along with 37 great-nieces and nephews.
A special thanks is needed for Angela, Cody, Lisa and Cameron for their compassionate care, along with RiverStone Hospice, and Abdullah for his friendship.
In lieu of flowers, your generosity and kindness can be gifted to the American Cancer Society or the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which is dedicated to the research and support of Neurofibromatosis (NF).
He is, was and forever will be our inspiration and the BEST of all of us. We will always love and miss him; Tom truly was our greatest HERO!
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. The vigil will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 2055 Woody Drive, with the recitation of the rosary preceding at 6:40 p.m. The funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. Interment will follow the mass at Holy Cross Cemetery, with a reception immediately after at the Red Lion Convention Center.