Thomas "Tom" Sandgren, age 43

Thomas "Tom" Sandgren

Service of Remembrance for Thomas "Tom" Sandgren, age 43, Hettinger, ND, was held Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the Assembly of God Church in Hettinger, ND. Rev. Alan Wickstrom officiated and burial followed at the Hettinger Cemetery. Visitations was from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10, at the Centennial Chapel of Evanson Jensen Funeral Homes in Hettinger, followed by a Gathering of Family and Friends at 7:00 p.m., and one hour prior to the funeral on Wednesday morning at the church.
On November 26, 1973, Thomas Leroy Sandgren was the first of four children born in Hettinger to Joseph Thomas LeRoy and Lucy Beld Sandgren (Milliren). Three siblings – Terry, Tanya and Tracy – followed. The family made their home on the Sandgren ranch, southeast of Lodgepole, South Dakota. From an early age, Tom worked on the ranch, alongside his Dad.
At age 14, Tom was baptized into the Christian faith through the Assembly of God church in Hettinger. The baptism took place in Gascoyne Lake.
His elementary education was at Fredlund School, a one-room country school house. He attended high school in Hettinger, graduating with the Class of 1992. His classmates affectionately dubbed him “Sangy.” He was #75 on the football team and also wrestled for the Black Devils.
A little more than one year out of high school, on July 23, 1993, Tom married his forever-love, Melissa Schaefer, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lemmon, SD. They have two grown sons, Zachary Joseph and Kevin Nicholas.
Throughout his high school years and his courtship with Melissa and for many, many hunting trips, Tom proudly drove his 1977 red and white Ford 150 pick-up, which he still owned.
For 20 years, Tom worked for Nabors Drilling in the oil fields of North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Prior to that, he worked for ranches near Lodgepole and Bison, SD. He loved cutting hay for Everett Johnson. Tom had recently accepted employment with the City of Regent, ND in their maintenance department. As entrepreneurs, he and his friend Mike Smolniker operated “Lakeside Sports” from a shop in Tom’s backyard.
Gardening was Tom’s passion, something he learned from Grandma Lois. Every fall he and Melissa harvested their bounty, lining their pantry with thousands of quart jars full of home-grown produce. Tom also enjoyed fishing, especially ice fishing, and hunting deer and small game. He once joined the Hettinger Jaycees.
Thomas “Tom” Sandgren, 43, lifelong Hettinger-area, North Dakota resident, died suddenly on Thursday, October 5, 2017, surrounded by family members, at Sanford Medical Center, Bismarck, North Dakota.
Thankful for having known and loved Tom are Melissa, his wife of 24½ years, and their sons Zachary (and fiancé Jillian Peck) and Kevin; his parents Joe Sandgren and Lucy Milliren, all of Hettinger, ND; his brother Terry (Stacy) Sandgren, Spearfish, SD and sisters Tanya Sandgren and Tracy McGinnis, Hettinger, ND; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Nick and Monica Schaefer, Hettinger, ND; his sister-in-law Renee (Jeremy) Rhoades, Minot, ND; nieces and nephews Hannah, Tugger, KaLee, Brayden, Devin, Brock, Allie, Bailey, Nicole and Heather; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins and a host of good friends in addition to his faithful companions , Velvet, the German short hair , and Molly, the Chiweenie.
Tom was preceded in death by his grandparents, Herbert and Marjorie Sandgren, Henry and Helen Beld, Nick and Maddie Schaefer and Howard and Lois Anderson; his step-father Verne Milliren; his favorite Aunt Phyllis Sandgren, Elaine Sandgren and “Grandma Shirley” Weaver; uncles Bud Sandgren, George Sandgren and Ken Beld; and cousins Scott Beld, in infancy, and Colton Beld.
In lieu of flowers a Memorial has been established by his family.

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