Visitation

Saturday, March 7, 2020

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Minneapolis Golf Club

2001 Flag Avenue, St. Louis Park

Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 7, 2020

11:30 AM

Minneapolis Golf Club

2001 Flag Avenue, St. Louis Park

Thomas Lester Loechler

September 10, 1940 - February 23, 2020

To those who knew and loved him, he was The Big Guy, which at 6'2" may have been more of a reference to his heart than his stature. Tom Loechler was a presence.

 

Born September 10, 1940, to Lester and Agnes, the oldest of five children, Tom loved being part of a team. A three-sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball) at Robbinsdale High School, he earned a scholarship to the U of M where he excelled as placekicker and offensive tackle for the Golden Gophers. In his glory days, Tom "Golden Toe" Loechler played in two Rose Bowls ('61 and '62), married his high school sweetheart, Karen Syverson (now Bowen), and became a youth leader in his church, an advocate for peace and civil rights, and most importantly, Dad to a daughter and then another daughter, then another, and yet one more.

 

Master's degree in tow, he returned to Robbinsdale High School in 1963 as an English teacher and assistant football coach before transferring to the brand-new Armstrong High School in 1970 where, in his first season as a head coach, the Falcons went undefeated. Tom was later inducted into the Hall of Fame at both Robbinsdale and Armstrong. He married Sandra Godfredson (1946-2008) in 1979 and gained two stepsons, Joel and Jon. Winters with Big T included skiing, tennis, volleyball, and handball. When he retired in 1997, he and Sandy became snowbirds to Timber Pines in Florida.

 

Perhaps Tom's greatest legacy was making memories for friends and family at Lake Ossawinnamakee, where, since 1968, summer days started with the crossword puzzle and ended playing his guitar around the campfire. In between, he cursed his putts at Whitefish, fixed his many broken things, sailed (and bailed) his sailboat, towed countless water-skiers, and grilled his famously crispy chicken. In 2010, Tom married Susan Taylor (nee Seashore), whose companionship renewed his spirit. Despite his recent compromised health, Sue made it possible for Tom to live independently with dignity, and to enjoy quality time with family.

 

Tom died at age 79 on Sunday, February 23, 2020. He will be missed by his wife Susan, daughters Laura Daly (Mark), Jane Loechler, Susan Thompson (Mark), Beth Loechler; stepsons Joel Godfredson (Doreen), Jon Godfredson (Natalie); siblings Dennis Loechler (Shari), Diane Peukert (Claus), Jan Marr (Tim), and Mark "Duger" Loechler (Sarah); 11 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren; dozens of nieces and nephews, and many treasured friends and colleagues.

 

Tom's life will be celebrated at 11:30 am on March 7, 2020, at Minneapolis Golf Club, 2001 Flag Avenue, St. Louis Park, with visitation beginning at 10 am.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Tom Loechler Scholarship Fund, to be awarded for exemplary sportsmanship exhibited by AHS football players.

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