MANKATO -- Thomas J. Morales, age 90, of Mankato, died Wednesday, April 20, 2005, at Immanuel-St. Joseph's Hospital in Mankato.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Hilltop United Methodist Church in Mankato with the Rev. Randy Koppen officiating. Burial will be 2 p.m. Monday at Pine Ridge Cemetery in Emily, Minn. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Mankato Mortuary and one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the MSU Mankato Women's Athletic Scholarship Fund.
Thomas J. Morales was born in Villanueva, Zacatecas, Mexico, on Dec. 29, 1914, to Micaela (Hernandez) and Vidol Morales. Tom's family moved to the United States when he was 2 years old and first settled in Chicago and later in Oelwein, Iowa. In his school years, Tom excelled in football and basketball and was captain of the basketball team. On July 25, 1938, he married Vivalore Elizabeth Finch in Oelwein.
Early on Tom was always a hard worker. He started out working for Earl Moore (a car dealership) in Oelwein, Iowa, and went on to own his own business repairing trucks, farm tractors and cars in Morristown, Minn. In the early 1950s, he and his family moved to Minneapolis, where he worked for the White Motor Co. for a number of years. In the early 1960s, he began his long association with Sid Manders, owner of Manders Diesel Repair and continued to work for him into his 80s.
Tom enjoyed fishing, a good chew, his wife Viv's enchiladas and spending time with his grandchildren. When Tom was in his early 70s, he proudly became a U.S. citizen. Tom was an avid sports fan and would closely follow his favorite teams, the Vikings, Twins and Timberwolves. In later years, he enjoyed watching Tiger Woods play golf. Most of all, Tom will be missed by his family and friends who loved him.
Survivors include four children and their spouses, Larry and Jean Morales, of Mankato, Joe and Fely Morales, of Brainerd, James and Nancy Morales, of Tulsa, Okla., and Barbara and Warren Warner, of Peoria, Ariz.; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Alberta, and her husband, Max Wagner, of Waterloo, Iowa; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife in 1997; two brothers; and a sister.
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