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Thomas Dziengel, after a long life, went to meet his Lord on his 105th Birthday, December 20, 2023.
Thomas John Dziengel was born in Primrose, Nebraska on 12/20/1918 to Peter Sr. and Josephine (Siwinski) Dziengel. He was the 8th in a family of 12 children, 7 boys and 5 girls. In July 1925, this farming family moved to what was then called Rockford, ND and eventually to Brantford, ND. In 1932 when the family moved to Argyle, MN, 13-year-old Tom and three older brothers spent six days driving wagons pulled by teams of horses. Tom was responsible for driving the grain wagon plus feeding and caring for the horses. While living in Argyle the family attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church where Tom was an active altar boy. Fresh milk and bread paid for the children’s tuition at the parochial school with Tom graduating from 8th Grade. He met Loretta Marie Stusynski at a local dance when she was 18 and he was 23, marrying at Assumption Catholic Church of Florian on June 29, 1943. The first years of married life they farmed in the Sauk Centre area before buying a farm located near Englund, MN from Loretta’s Uncle John.
On this farm Tom and Loretta raised 7 children: Jim Dziengel (deceased), Pat Marquardt (Dennis), Char Myers, Angie Gordon, Larry Dziengel (Ann), Lake Dziengel (Karen Lundgren) and Michelle Dziengel. In addition to small grain farming and raising cattle and horses, Tom worked for many years at Arctic Cat Enterprises in Thief River Falls until retiring at 62. Retirement gave him time to enjoy many hobbies. He started golfing at 57, even getting a hole in one at age 72. He was an accomplished wood worker, adding carving to his projects. Loretta encouraged Tom to bake, making killer pies and his favorite chocolate chip cookies. A skilled do-it-yourself type of guy, he could fix everything from machinery, to household items, bicycles and cars. He and Loretta loved to travel to visit their children as family was very important. He was rarely one to sit still for long except for reading all the newspapers and good western novels.
After Loretta’s death in 2002, he began going to dances for seniors as he enjoyed listening to “old time music” and dancing. Having played guitar and concertina when younger, he started playing wooden spoons with local musicians and at “jam sessions” at retirement communities in Apache Junction, Arizona. Rarely seen without a cowboy hat, boots, western shirt and bolo, he was always a friendly guy who never met a stranger. He was always ready to help others and gave the best hugs.
Tom continued to live on the farm until becoming suddenly ill with pneumonia in late November. He died in Karlstad, MN on his 105th birthday. Tom leaves behind 6 children, 13 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Loretta, his oldest son Jim, son-in-law Gene Myers, his parents and all eleven siblings.
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Monday, January 15, 2024, at 10:30 AM, in Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, Florian, MN.
A RECORDING of the Mass may be found here: Tom Dziengel Funeral Mass
VISITATION: Sunday evening, January 14, from 5:00 PM, with a Rosary at 6:15 PM and a Prayer Service at 6:30 PM, at the Church; and one hour prior to Mass.
INTERMENT: Next to his wife, Loretta, in Assumption Catholic Cemetery, Florian.
At the link, please find a story done about Tom on PBS: A Farmer's Century Journey