SUN CITY, Ariz. - Former Minnesota Community College administrator Thomas B. Levig passed away at his home in Sun City West, Ariz., on Sept. 3, 2009.
Born July 31, 1932, in Clarkfield, Minn., Tom attended schools in Granite Falls, where he became the youngest member of the "first string" football squad. During his junior year, his family moved to Brainerd. He was also a football star there and graduated from Washington High School in 1950. In 1953, Tom was drafted into the U.S. Army. He completed his bachelor's degree in history and geography at St. Cloud State University in 1956. His first teaching position was at Cotton, Minn., where he taught history and geography and coached basketball. In 1963, he received his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in counseling and guidance. That year, he became supervisor for the St. Louis County School System where he developed the first Head Start program in Minnesota, the farm forestry program, the music program and the home school liaison program. In 1967, he moved to Mesabi Community College in Virginia, Minn., as counselor and director of financial aids. There he developed one of the largest financial aid programs in Minnesota, presided over the Minnesota Financial Aid Officers Association and served on the Regional Financial Aid Officers Association and American Personnel and Guidance boards. In Virginia, Tom also served as consultant to the Community Action Program, directing the Neighborhood Youth Corps. He was chairman of the Iron Range Rehabilitation Center and the Virginia Health Committee. In 1978, Tom received his doctor's degree in adult and higher education from the University of South Dakota and relocated to Cambridge, Minn., to develop a community college there. He retired in 1993, after creating a "stand alone" campus from a "college without walls" and continued to serve as director of the Cambridge Community College Foundation for several years. While in Cambridge, he hosted numerous political dignitaries. He was president of the Chamber of Commerce and served on the Cambridge Housing Authority and the Office of Economic Opportunity Advisory Committee. He was a board member of the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, the State Extension Home Economics Advisory Committee and the Governor's Task Force for the Development of Fond Du Lac Tribal Community College. He was a member of the Lions and three American Legion posts. Tom was honored by the Cambridge Community College Foundation Board when Tom Levig Lane was created on the college campus and a monument dedicated to his service. Throughout his life, Tom was happiest when he was helping others, particularly helping people get the education that opens up future opportunities. After retirement, Tom moved to Sun City West, Ariz., where he joined the Sheriff's Posse, volunteered at Del Webb Hospital, developed the Kochina Golf Club, was an officer in Vasa Solstad Lodge No. 709 and Club Scandinavia of Sun City West and hosted many community events at his home. In 1996, Tom and his wife began spending summers at Breezy Point, Minn., later building a home on Pelican Lake. Tom's favorite Minnesota pastimes were working in his yard and gardens and sitting on the deck in the evenings with family or friends.
Tom is survived by his wife, Anne; daughter, Debra Grabau (Scott), of Virginia, Minn.; son, Michael, of Duluth; brothers, Merle, of Sun City West, Ariz., and David, of Brainerd; granddaughters, Brittany and Emily Levig, of Duluth, and Sandra Zupetz, of Angeles City, Philippines; and great-grandchildren, Hazel and Zayden Zupetz.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Gladys Levig; son, David; two brothers, Lyle (Bud) and Dale; two sisters, Jeanne Cumbie and Catherine Borg; and grandson, Isaac Zupetz.
Memorials may be sent to the Levig Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Cambridge Community College Foundation, 300 Spirit River Drive, Cambridge, MN 55008.
A celebration of Tom's life will be held at Briarwood Country Club in Sun City West at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, 2009. Graveside rites will be conducted at Oakland Cemetery at Fort Ripley, Minn., on Oct. 24, 2009, followed by a gathering of family and friends in Breezy Point.
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