Thomas J. Nealon
May 17, 1931 – July 29, 2019
Thomas J. Nealon, age 88, passed away peacefully at Hospice House in Omaha, Nebraska on July 29, 2019. He is survived by his beloved wife of almost 59 years, Delores (Haverkamp) Nealon; four children: Mike (Susan Clinton) Nealon of Sioux Falls, SD and their children Mackenzie and Thomas; Annette (Jim) Ludeman of Omaha and their children Ben and John; Bob (Cindy Wuerz) Nealon of Naperville, IL and their children Amy, Scott and Matthew; and Dr. James (Shelly Balkovec) Nealon of Silverton, OR and their children Jack, Chloe and Grant. He is also survived by two sisters: Kathryn (Dale-deceased) Lingren of Arlington, TX and Sharon (Ken) Cheney of Lincoln, and sister-in-law, Marilyn (Jack-deceased) Nealon, formerly of Omaha. He is preceded in death by his sisters, Mary Agnes Finnerty, Therese Mahoney, and Ruth Barrett, brother Jack Nealon, parents Thomas G. and Marie (Hansen) Nealon, father-in-law Leo Haverkamp, mother-in-law Mary (Freking) Haverkamp and stepmother-in-law Nora (Amick) Haverkamp.
Born in the Irish Catholic enclave of Greeley, Nebraska, Tom was the third of seven children and attended Sacred Heart through high school. He joined the Navy to serve in the Korean Conflict as an electrician aboard the aircraft carrier, Bon Homme Richard. Tom and Delores met in 1958 at a dance in Omaha and their first date was to the Aksarben Ball. They would have been married 59 years on August 21, 2019. Over the years, Tom and Delores enjoyed traveling to many reunions of fellow Bon Homme Richard shipmates. After serving in the Navy, Tom took advantage of the GI bill to get his college degree. He studied accounting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and had to defend his lackluster academic performance to his kids as recently as this month. After graduating, he worked for ten years for OPPD in the Accounting Department before taking a job with the State of Nebraska Department of Insurance as an insurance examiner (aka auditor). He stayed with the Department of insurance for 31 years retiring in 2001 at 70 years of age. During his time as an insurance examiner, he traveled quite a bit to exotic locales like Malibu, CA, Toronto, Canada and Lincoln, NE where he was always diligent in photographing the motel and parking lot to show Delores. Throughout the years, Tom returned annually to Greeley for opening day for pheasant hunting. These trips were thinly veiled opportunities for fellowship and joking with family and childhood friends with the occasional bagging of a pheasant. Tom was very handy and could fix anything with a little ingenuity and duct tape. He also liked woodcrafting and presented each of the grandchildren with a handmade wooden toy chest. After retirement, Tom spent his time reading, gardening and cultivating the most enviable lawn in the neighborhood. Tom’s biggest disappointment in life was never having seen Sasquatch (aka Bigfoot) in person. Tom’s wise counsel and love of a good joke will be sorely missed by his family.
FAMILY WILL RECEIVE FRIENDS on Friday, August 2nd, from 5 pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. FUNERAL SERVICES: Saturday, August 3rd at 10am at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific, followed by Inurnment at Resurrection Cemetery with military honors by Benson VFW Post 2503. Friends and family are invited to a luncheon in the Mainelli Center at St. Robert’s following the Inurnment. Memorials are suggested to American Legion Post 186 (Greeley, Nebraska) or to Sisters of St. Francis Sister Water Project (a project to bring safe water to villages in Tanzania and Honduras).