Serving the Wasatch Front & Tooele County with old-fashioned warmth and sincerity since 1979.
Thomas R. Egelund

Thomas R. Egelund

Thomas Raymond Egelund was born in Salt Lake City on February 2, 1933 and passed away on July 2, 2024. He was the seventh and final child born to Isaac Peter and Ruth Condie Egelund. Most of his siblings: Clyde, Rulon, Lucile, Stan, Don and Lillian were excited to have him in the family, but Lucile was probably most excited of all. Upon hearing the news for herself, she went outside on the porch and in a very loud voice announced to the entire neighborhood the birth of her new, little brother.  She was immediately called back inside the house and reprimanded for her actions. Amid The Great Depression, bringing another mouth to feed into an already large family was judged to be socially irresponsible and not something to be broadcast.

Tom’s maternal ancestors hailed from Scotland, and he was the namesake of both his grandfather and great-grandfather. His mother had a first cousin who had given birth to a baby boy five and a half years before Tom was born. She too, keeping tradition alive, had also named her son Thomas, the namesake of his great-grandfather, but that Thomas was given the middle name of Spencer.  

Tom was preceded in death by his father ‘50, mother ‘58 and brothers Don ‘83, Clyde ’84, Rulon ‘85, Stan ’04 and sister Lucile ’14. He is survived by his sister Lillian (Manhattan, Kansas).

As a youngster, Tom learned the principles of gardening, farming, music, mechanics and construction. Each of these skills were hobbies for Tom, but he used them wisely in caring for his own family, to provide neighborly service and to ease the burdens of others who needed a helping hand.  Many people were blessed by Tom’s resourcefulness and generosity.

Tom graduated from Cyprus High School as part of the Class of 1951.  Though he wasn’t a scholar or an athlete, he did sing, act and perform with various clubs in several assemblies and other shows. He was also involved in the Psychology Club and Agriculture Club and was well liked and had a good circle of close friends. His Senior Class President became a famous figure in the state of Utah for a time, but when Tom received an invitation from him to attend the 25-year reunion at a mansion on South Temple Street, he turned it down saying nobody liked the guy then, and nobody likes him any more now. 

Sadly, during his senior year, Tom’s father passed away the day after Thanksgiving. With Tom being the only child at home, this left him with the responsibility of looking after and caring for his mother.

Following high school, Tom felt compelled to continue to care for his widowed mother, but it wasn’t a burden to him. In addition to working full-time he enjoyed studying Judo, excelled at amateur wrestling while in the ring at the Utah State Fair Park, flew his own airplane out of airport No. 2 and rode motorcycles as a means of transportation and a source of thrills and excitement.  During two different motorcycle rides, certain events transpired that would alter his life forever.

In the Spring of 1953, Tom received his Order to Report for Induction to serve in the military during the conflict in Korea. He was to report 19 days from the date of the notice. Prior to receiving his orders, Tom was riding his motorcycle and while he was going through an intersection, he was hit broadside by a motorist who failed to yield. The collision resulted in Tom having a broken ankle. When the day came to report for induction, his ankle was out of a cast, but not completely healed. Tom brought his condition to the attention of the examining doctor, but for unknown reasons, the doctor decided that Tom would be accepted for induction, and he was ordered to Basic Training for the United States Army Signal Corps at Camp Merriam in San Luis Obispo, California. After completing more than seven of the eight weeks of basic training, Tom’s medical records were reviewed, the mistake was discovered and acknowledged, and Tom was honorably discharged and sent home. Because of the motorcycle accident, Tom was never shipped overseas to be placed in harm’s way, perhaps preserving his life, or keeping him from sustaining serious injuries. His ankle, though having not properly healed, left him with the slightest of limps and caused him irritation throughout his life.

Following his return from military service, Tom got back into the routine of driving trucks full-time while living with and caring for his mother in her home at 1144 East 1700 South in Salt Lake City. One evening he cruised up State Street into downtown Salt Lake City just as a program at the Tabernacle on Temple Square had concluded. Whether the timing and destination was by design or not, we do not know. We do know that Tom pulled to the curb where a group of young ladies had congregated on the sidewalk and getting their attention, he offered any one of them that was interested a ride on the back of his motorcycle. 

Earlier that same evening, a young lady from Magna, who lived in a newer home that her father had built by himself, a home that needed concrete for a driveway, went into Salt Lake City with a group of friends to attend a program at the Tabernacle on Temple Square. After the event, a dashing Danish Angel with sparkling blue eyes pulled up to the group, revved the engine on his motorcycle to get their attention, and invited any one of the girls daring enough to take a ride sitting behind him, holding on tightly as they zip around turns and accelerated quickly.

We doubt that Tom could have realized that when Karen Marie Hawkins accepted his invitation to take a ride that evening, the countdown on his days of bachelorhood began. In time, Tom convinced her to date him regularly and on Valentine’s Day of 1958, Tom and Karen were married and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. Tom got the girl and Karen’s dad got a driveway.  Between 1959 and 1976 they were blessed to have six children: Sandra (Rex) Quarnberg, Kent (Julie), Marianne, John (Joellen), Daniel (Huong) and Kristin. Five months following their marriage, while Tom and Karen were living in her home and helping care for her, Tom’s mother passed away. None of Tom’s children knew their paternal grandparents on this earth.

As they started adding to their own family, Tom and Karen chose to move to a new home in Granger, Utah and they stayed with Karen’s parents until the house was completed. Sandra and Kent were born in quick succession followed by Marianne and then John. The young family lived through the imminent feeling of doom caused by the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, but times became better as Tom continued to work at Hercules. It was in Granger that Tom was ordained a Seventy in the Melchizedek Priesthood and not long after, as a High Priest being called to serve as a member of the Granger Stake High Council.  

With the announcement of Valley Fair Mall, the area near their home would quickly be overrun with congestion and commercial development. Tom wanted out. In 1967 he took his young family around the mountain to the Tooele Valley where they settled in Erda and eventually Daniel and Kristin would join the family there. Tom would continue to commute to Hercules for several years and would come home to his gentleman’s farm where he sold the corn that he raised on a leased plot of ground west of Utah State Route 36, behind the big old house the family lived in, which was just south of the big, red, hay barn. It was also in Erda that Tom and Karen happily participated in the Indian Student Placement Program and welcomed Linda Swafford, Carl Schroulate and Debbie Wright at different times, as members of the family.

The first two old houses the family lived in while in Erda were just that. Old.  The cost of heating and maintaining them was not efficient and growing corn was an enjoyable pastime, but not lucrative. It was time to move, but not out of Erda. Hartley Palmer had developed part of his land into one-acre lots on a road that would become Palmer Road. Tom built his own home, and the family began living there in May of 1975 and would remain there for the next 18 years.

Life in Erda was not easy. Tom’s son, Kent, had been thrown from a steer during an impromptu Young Men’s activity and he was knocked unconscious and hospitalized with a traumatic head injury. Also, just one year after moving to Palmer Road, Tom’s steady employment at Hercules for 16 years came to an end due to industry cutbacks and lay-offs.  Economically, the entire country was struggling, and steady employment was hard to find. Relying on his skills and resourcefulness, Tom humbly sought work wherever it could be found, no matter how difficult the job was.

In time, Tom settled back into a life of driving, including driving cement trucks, spreading road oil and driving tankers to deliver crude oil and fuel throughout the Intermountain Region. Tom enjoyed the scenery of Idaho and Montana and made regular runs to the mines of Nevada. Having a bad lower back, driving wasn’t the easiest. Strangely, one day in the rain, Tom slipped on the metal ladder as he was climbing to the top of a tanker trailer, and he landed flat on his back. He needed to recuperate his back, but he still needed to work. A good friend arranged for him to have employment as a maintenance specialist for the LDS Grantsville Stake. This employment opportunity allowed him to be home every night and have Sundays off. He enjoyed the solitude and quiet of working alone inside the Meetinghouses and spent numerous hours painting the interiors of the buildings, refinishing hardwood floors, cutting lawns and maintaining irrigation systems.  

After falling from the truck, Tom’s back coincidentally seemed to get better.  He had worked hard for the Grantsville Stake and the Meetinghouses were in top shape. He knew the job had been given to him as a blessing in a time of need and was not a permanent position. With gratitude, he left working for the stake and began driving trucks again, seeking out companies where he could continue to build his years as a member of the Teamsters Union from which he was able to get a small monthly pension when he retired.

During the 18 years on Palmer Road, Tom’s kids finished school, were married, joined the military and served LDS Missions. Tom had a garden to envy and spent countless hours in the evenings hoeing, weeding and watering. He was masterful at gardening and preparing his soil, and his yield was more than enough to support his own family, and nobody left his house without a bag of tomatoes and zucchini.

The house on Palmer Road became the unofficial, international headquarters of Tom’s Shade TRE (Tom’s initials) Garage. It wasn’t an actual business, nor a registered entity, it was just a fun way to make light of the fact that the back half of the lot was turning into a junkyard. Besides being able to accomplish major overhauls and simple part replacements, Tom had the ability to quickly diagnose most mechanical issues. Many cars found their way over to the Shade TRE, cars that were either on or past their last leg. If there was life to be found in them, Tom found it. If they were only good for parts, they were held onto under the belief that someday, someone would need those very specific parts.

While in high school, Daniel knew a kid that had been using his VW Beetle for transportation and for shelter until the transaxle apparently went bad and the car wouldn’t shift into gear. The car had been taken to a local professional shop where it was torn apart to diagnose the problem. The professional mechanics couldn’t determine the source of the problem and told the kid to get the car off their lot. The car was offered to Daniel for $150 and after talking to Tom, he made the deal telling the kid to have the car towed to the Shade TRE with the engine riding on the back bumper. Tom was confident he could repair the vehicle. Daniel started to clean out what a few months of using the car as a domicile had done to the interior and Tom started to drop the motor and transaxle back into the car. The kid who had sold the car was very upset to see the car, a $300 total investment covering initial cost, tax, tag and licensing, new seat covers, and a tank of gas, come rolling back to the high school less than a week later. The total cost for the parts was nothing. The total cost for labor was also nothing. Having briefly heard someone several years prior tell of a similar situation, Tom knew the diagnosis before he ever saw the car; it was nothing more than a loose wire. The car proved to be reliable for years to come.

Tom enjoyed the challenge of diagnosing and repairing problems long before Google and YouTube videos. He enjoyed it more when someone was there to hand him the wrenches. Over the years, Tom donated more than a few of his gems to people who needed transportation but could afford to buy nothing.

Life in Erda had not been easy, but the greatest blessing of living there were the many lasting relationships that the family began, fostered and have maintained. Over the years, many of the greatest people on earth have called Erda their home. With that being said, it was time for Tom and Karen to move again.

Tom and Karen, along with Kristin, gave up country living and moved to the city. Tooele City. Having downsized, and with Kristin finishing high school, Tom and Karen both wound down their work and prepared for retirement.  Upon retiring they explored the possibility of serving a full-time mission, but instead chose to accept callings as Church-Service Missionaries where they were assigned to the Tooele Utah Employment Resource Center.  They were happy with this service and served alongside other couples that they really enjoyed being with until they were released in June of 2002.

A peaceful retirement full of service opportunities was not to be part of the plan for Tom and Karen, though. Tom’s life had been full of losing his loved ones at relatively young ages, with most of them being to the ravishing effects of cancer. He had become stoic as he did his best to hide the pain and suffering that he had to endure, but he understood that his loved ones were experiencing even more pain and inevitably would succumb to the diseases they had. Considering his past experiences, we can’t imagine the sorrow that Tom felt when they learned Karen had breast cancer. There was a very brief glimmer of hope, though, as Karen was told that she had survived breast cancer, only to learn a short time later that the cancer had metastasized, and she had contracted pancreatic cancer. In early 2004, less than two years after being released as Church-Service Missionaries, Karen passed away.

A few months after Karen’s passing, Tom needed time alone. Time to think. Time to mourn. Time to contemplate. He took a truck and camper and went into the scenic country of Idaho and for a time enjoyed the solace and solitude. In time, he contacted Karen’s widowed cousin and arranged to meet her in Brigham City. Tom had known Sherolyn Stokes almost as long as he had known Karen, and he knew her late husband, Darrell, as well.  Tom and Sherolyn socialized and dated briefly and in January 2005, Tom married Sherolyn in the Ogden Utah Temple.

Tom, again, had a companion that he could enjoy a peaceful retirement full of service opportunities with. He moved into Sherolyn’s home in Brigham City and Tom began to enjoy some of the best years of his life. Sherolyn had been serving as an Ordinance Worker in the Ogden Temple at the time of their marriage and in the fall of 2005, they accepted a call together to serve as Ordinance Workers for two years. Shortly after being released from this calling, they accepted another calling to serve as Church-Service Missionaries for two years and served with those suffering with various addictions.

When time permitted, Tom and Sherolyn regularly and frequently went dancing. They also shared a common interest in gardening, tending to plants and maintaining a well-kept home and yard. Life was good for Tom, and we are ever grateful for the companionship Sherolyn provided. He was very well cared for.

Throughout his life Tom would find occasion to display his musical talent.  He played several instruments, all of them by ear. An electric guitar and amplifier, a banjo, an upright piano, an organ, an accordion and a violin were all to be found in his homes. Tom also had a great singing voice, and he knew the words to hundreds of songs. After returning to Tooele County in 2023, Tom would make his way to the Senior Citizen’s Center where he would play the piano, livening up the center and entertaining the other patrons.

Tom also had time within the past few years to revisit one of his old passions, which was aviation. Tom had found a man that was willing to take him up for a few rides and they enjoyed time in the air while sharing the cost of fuel. Becoming more and more familiar with the cockpit instruments, he was confident enough to send off for a copy of his ratings and he began to take over the controls, but never flew solo again like he did as a young man.

As perfect as Tom appeared, he also had his vices. Tinkering and Hoarding were good friends of his and if he wasn’t out in the garage spending time with Tinkering, he was at Deseret Industries on the lookout for Hoarding.  When he married Sherolyn and moved to Brigham City, the home in Tooele City stayed in the family. He had left behind much of his tinkering and hoarding in Tooele, but it didn’t take long to find them again in Brigham City.  In early 2021, his tinkering caught up to him as the acetylene gasses from his welder had accumulated under the sleeve of his coveralls and ignited.  He struggled to get the coveralls off and, in the end, he had third-degree burns on his left forearm that required a skin graft from his leg in order to heal. He said that at the time he was on fire, had he realized how excruciatingly painful the healing process would be, he would have just let himself burn up and be done. He was likely one of the oldest patients to be admitted to the University of Utah Burn Center.

The years of happiness with Sherolyn continued to add up, but they weren’t without sorrow. In January of 2017, Tom felt the sting of death once again, and experienced the pain of losing a child. His oldest daughter, Sandra, after quickly losing consciousness and being placed in intensive care for nearly a week, had passed away. It was a hard blow for Tom. The following week, a niece suddenly passed away bringing devastation to Tom’s sister in-law and her husband. It was a great comfort to Tom to have Sherolyn next to him during these sad times. In 2021, Tom experienced the loss of a nephew that he had a special relationship with. This nephew, as many other loved ones had already, also died from cancer.

Tom never believed he would live as many years as he did, and he never imagined outliving one wife, let alone two. In February of 2023, after just having celebrated his 90th birthday and after 18 years of marriage, Tom lost Sherolyn, who passed away suddenly. Though Sherolyn’s passing was peaceful, it didn’t make it any less sorrowful for Tom. Sherolyn’s passing was very shocking to him, and her death quickly began to take its toll on him.

At the behest of his daughters, Tom began to prepare to return to Tooele County. Tinkering was over and the hoarding began to be divided and conquered. Suitable accommodations were secured and the move was well underway, but tragedy and sorrow were coming to visit Tom yet again. In late May of 2023, Tom’s oldest son, Kent, passed away. A medical episode had quickly put Kent into a coma, and he died soon after. As with Sandra, Kent’s death was sudden, tragic and heartbreaking for Tom. There were no last words spoken between father and children, no gazing into the eyes of each other as the end approached, seemingly there was nothing but death.  Death would take another niece before the end of 2023, and like many others, passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Not long ago, while still in good health and of sound mind, after sitting peacefully for several minutes and tears filling his eyes, Tom confessed that he would have no problem continuing in this life if the memories of the loved ones he had lost could be taken away from him. As it was, the memories remained, the sorrow lingered and the heartache was still heavy.

Through all of the disappointments of life, the deaths, the sorrows, the letdowns, there was something that Tom had that wouldn’t die. Two days before his passing, he was asked what he would like us to pray for. He answered by asking that we pray for peace on this earth and for Jesus. Tom’s consideration for the well-being of others remained until the end. His faith in Jesus Christ, his Savior, never waivered.

Tom didn’t live a life of perfection, but he lived an exemplary life of service and long-suffering. He was often humbled and happy to be humble. Clean pressed clothes were more important than fine attire. A simple, well-prepared meal was more important than an extravagant one. A pocket watch suited him better than a wristwatch. Tom never needed a wallet but was never without a billfold. He was happy to keep quiet and let people wonder if he was smart or dumb, rather than open his mouth and tell them.  Saltines soaked in milk was a good snack. Rainy days meant a day of rest for those who farmed. Tom liked JR better than Bobby. Hee Haw was the only entertainment Tom ever needed. Willie was okay until he grew out his hair and started smoking weed. If you’re going to the store, bring me back something. Twist-cap Pepsi bottles were a genius idea. Don’t plant your corn all at once. And finally, whoever started that was stupid.

We are grateful for the life of Thomas R. Egelund. We are happy knowing that he enjoyed good health until the end and didn’t endure any more suffering than he already had. None of us get to pick our dads for ourselves, but we’re glad that Tom was picked to be ours.

Tom is survived by his sister Lillian and his in-laws Francelle (Don), DeeAnn (Verdell) and Claudia (Jesse).

He is also survived by his children Marianne, John (Joellen), Daniel (Huong), and Kristin.

Tom is the grandfather of Amanda Jackson, Kelsie Peterson, Andrew Quarnberg, Emalee Egelund, Emily Walbeck, Eric Egelund, Erin Egelund, Michael Shaffer and Gabriel Egelund.

Tom was also blessed with the joy of being a great-grandfather to a few, with more on the way.

Additionally, he is survived by three generations of nieces and nephews.

Dad, we love you, we will miss you. As you get to work on that shanty in the shadow of the mansion, draw your plans accordingly to allow for future additions. There’s no place like home and it would be our honor to live under your roof again. And if you need a tool or two to complete the additions, any tool you can imagine, we know where to find more than one of each.

Everyone, when you hear a bell ring, think of our Danish Angel, who just earned his wings.

Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at 12 Noon at the Redwood Memorial Park, 6500 So. Redwood Rd, West Jordan, Utah. A viewing will be held Tuesday, July 9, from 9:30 – 11:00 AM at the Country Crossing Chapel, 390 Village Blvd., Stansbury Park, Utah.

Arrangements in care of Dalton-Hoopes Funeral Home, Grantsville. 435-884-3031

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