Thomas R. Fink, age 75, of Maple Plain, passed away Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, after a five-year battle with frontotemporal dementia and aphasia.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Thursday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Delano.
There will be visitation Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 4 to 8 p.m. at St. Martha Hall of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Delano; continuing Thursday from 10 to 11 a.m. in the church, prior to the Mass.
Tom was born in Watertown, and spent his childhood years on dairy farms in Chaska and Maple Plain.
He graduated from Delano High School in 1960.
Tom ran the Lyndale Farm Store (in the former Lyndale Creamery building) until he was drafted into the Army in 1965, where he was trained as an Army food inspector and was then stationed at Fort Snelling. Obviously, they could tell that this was a man who loved food.
While still in the army, Tom married his wife, Sue (Swanson). After his army discharge, the couple moved to a farm in Independence.
For nine years, Tom worked for Temroc Metals in Plymouth. It was hard for this independent farm boy to work for someone else. In 1978, a new dairy barn was built and thus began the dairy career of the Fink family; Tom and Sue, and their children Sara, Jason, Gina, Maria, Lisa, and Jessica.
Tom was an ambitious, hard-working farmer, and his family worked right alongside him. He did all he could to improve his dairy herd and provide a good living for his family. Tom’s legacy to his children is his strong work ethic and sense of responsibility.
Tom loved guns and hunting. He enjoyed fishing, both summer and winter, and fished the local lakes, as well as Lake Pakashkan in Ontario, Canada.
He was highly interested in mechanics and classic cars. As a young man, Tom was always working on his cars, generally out of necessity. If you break it, you fix it!
After his retirement from dairy farming in 2000, Tom collected classic cars. He enjoyed working on them in his machine shed and restoring them. His favorite cars were Thunderbirds.
Tom was one of a kind. He was full of fun and mischief; a man’s man, and a tough nut to crack. He was from the old school, and believed that a handshake sealed the deal.
A master of duct-tape repair, Tom somehow concocted many an imaginative fix to keep his farm equipment and vehicles working. He enjoyed a good laugh, and some salty language.
Tom was preceded in death by his father, Donald; mother, Yvonne; and brother-in-law Sid Swanson.
He will be greatly missed by his wife, Sue; son Jason and partner Jae; daughters Sara (Keith) Triplett, Gina (Mark) Kosek, Maria (Henry) Schelhaas, Lisa and partner Eric Oswald, and Jessica and partner Jason Zentner; grandchildren Nathan, Eric, and Christian Triplett, Nick Kegley, Mattalyn, and Henry Thomas (HT) Schelhaas, and Ethan, Emma, and Elise Kosek; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.