I, Tom Stoeger, kicked the bucket.
I was born October 17, 1956 to Frederick and Doris (Stephani) Stoeger in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both, rather I chose the high road for my life.
My inspiration was NFL kicker Tom Dempsey (born in Milwaukee) who kicked a record 63-yard field goal in 1970 (He had no toes on his right foot, nor fingers on right hand). I eventually made a 73-yard field goal in scrimmage for UW-La Crosse. and coach Roger Herring arranged a tryout in 1979 with an area scout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a kick off specialist. I was not successful as the pro scout told me I didn’t have enough “hang time”?
Many said I marched to the beat of a different drum, but as a trivia buff my mind was often cluttered with obscure information. (Incidentally, Different Drum was written in 1964 by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees and popularized by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys in 1967).
I married Nannette Plummer October 24, 1987 (wonderful cook, great sense of humor, and our navigator) and we were blessed with 2 wonderful children, Dylan and Monica.
To my son Dylan: You are good at anything that motivates you. As a 16-year-old you were a better driver than your father who was supposed to teach you. I love the fact that you value people more than money and good things happen to good people. Keep your head up and eyes open so you see opportunities when they come your way. The day you were born is one of the best days of my life. I love you.
Monica, your dedication and hard work was rewarded with a scholarship and degree from a prestigious college and continued education at Massachusetts General Hospital. You turned the tragic loss of your mom into an inspiration to save lives. Your mother and I are so proud of you. I love you.
My life was better because of two teachers. Vi Heuer, my 4th grade teacher, was so caring and attentive that every child loved her. My 9th grade teacher and coach, Gale Wandke, taught us the hard lesson of leadership and being on time. Those lessons served me well throughout life.
To the staff at St Joe’s Residence, you made living with a stroke bearable and I tried every day to show all of you my appreciation. Having a terrible medical condition is not a license to be ill tempered, so I tried to make your lives brighter, to make you smile and laugh. Thank you!
To my brothers, sisters and extended family, no words … none are needed to know we loved each other.
In addition to my children, I am survived by my brothers and sisters: Patricia (Steve) Grunwald, Bob (Debbie) Stoeger, Fred (Erica) Stoeger, Ed (Kathy) Stoeger and Juli (Jeff) Schuh. My surviving nephews and nieces include Chase and Shauna Stoeger, Brett, Braden and Ben Stoeger, Zach (Kim) Stoeger, Steffani (Chris) Gerard, Jake Stoeger and Conor and Cole (Caitlin) Schuh. In addition are my great nieces and great nephews; Wilder and Dax Stoeger, Tenley and Tyson Gerard, and Sawyer and Sage Stoeger. I would also like to mention a special friend Harley, who was like a grandson to me.
I was preceded in death by my wife Nannette, parents and brother James.
So, obviously my time has come. I lived over five years with a stroke. I was counted out numerous times … and that pro scout said I didn’t have “hang time?”
From here I need my navigator. I’ll say hi to Mom and Dad for you all.
I pray I chose the right path, for this point after is the most important of my life.
May the Lord have mercy on me.
The family wishes to thank the amazing staff at St. Joseph Residence, as well as the excellent team from Heartland Hospice. Your compassionate care provided Tom comfort and peace of mind for all of us. Tom also appreciated the special visits from Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom.
A visitation for Tom will take place from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 27, 2022 at the Cline-Hanson Funeral Home in New London, Wisconsin. The funeral service will follow at 4:00 p.m. with Fr. John Kleinschmidt officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials to support local charities will be appreciated.