Tom L. Coale
January 31, 1944 – October 22, 2022
VISITATION: Wednesday, October 26th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel. FUNERAL SERVICE: Thursday, October 27th at 10:30am, West Center Chapel. Interment, Evergreen Memorial Park. Memorials are suggested to Nebraska Humane Society.
To view a live broadcast of the Service, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.
Tommy Lynn Coale was born on January 31, 1944, in Bonne Terre, Missouri and died in Bellevue, Nebraska on October 22, 2022. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon, and their son, Scott. Tom is survived by daughter, Rhonda; son-in-law, Bryan G. Handlos; and beloved cat, Meow.
Tom grew up in Farmington, located in the Missouri Lead Belt. As a boy, he loved to fish, get into mischief, and spend time with all of the animals on the family farm. At junior college, he met the love of his life, Sharon Lee Wills from Desloge, Missouri, and they were married in 1964. Tom was drafted by the United States Army in 1966 and was sent to Vietnam in early 1968. He was honorably discharged later that year and resumed his life with Sharon, settling in Kirkwood, Missouri.
Tom began working for Missouri Pacific (MOPAC) Railroad in 1970 and he enjoyed negotiating with MOPAC’s customers to get the very best deal for the railroad that he could. Tom, Sharon, Rhonda, and Scott moved to Omaha, Nebraska in 1983 when MOPAC was acquired by Union Pacific. Tom worked for the railroad until his early retirement in 1996.
In retirement, Tom and Sharon traveled around the country so much that Rhonda began to wonder if they were on the run from something. They loved to explore new places and preferred to be nomadic, spending only one night at any given place so they could move on down the road the next day and see something else.
Tom had a reputation for being extremely frugal but was generous to a fault for those he loved. He was a woodworker who made clocks, jewelry boxes, boomerangs, and even a pair of skis, which fortunately, he never used. He was quick with good jokes and bad puns and loved to make people laugh. He liked to buy cars, drink Diet Coke, and spend time with family and friends.