Tom Holmberg


Tom Carl Holmberg, 86, of Oskaloosa, passed on to the next life on Saturday, May 27, 2023, due to complications of old age.

Tom Carl was born October 5, 1936, 86 years ago, in Brunswick, Missouri, on the bluffs overlooking the Grand River, at his grandmother’s kitchen table in her house (Alma Brown). Tom Carl’s mother and father had been married in this house several years before. Tom Carl was named Carl Gordon Holmberg after his father, Carl, and his maternal grandfather Gordon. One of Tom Carl’s uncles on his mother’s side was named Thomas Jefferson (TJ) Brown, and TJ thought little Carl Gordon should be called Tom or Tommy, so he was. Some 20 years later, after worrying about records and what was really his name, Carl or Tommy, Tom Carl went to the Missouri Department of Vital Statistics and officially became Tom Carl.

Tom Carl grew up in Brunswick and in Maryville, Missouri, where his mother was in college and a teacher. His mother and dad had divorced, and young Tom Carl was indelibly imprinted with the thought that he would marry once and for all. It turned out later that he did just that, and he and Lois Hutchison were married on September 14, 1960.

Tom Carl, his mother Marjorie, and grandmother Alma moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1947. Tom Carl always considered himself as an lowan who was born in Missouri. After graduating from Iowa State Teachers College High School in 1954 and one year at ISTC as a freshman, Tom Carl went on active duty with the USMC after having been in the Marine Corps for over a year prior. Before he went on active duty, and as luck or Providence would have it, the Korean War was, for the most part, over. So even with several months of duty in the Far East, Japan, Okinawa Formosa, Taiwan, The Philippines, etc., Tom Carl never saw actual combat duty. When Tom Carl returned to the US, he followed in his father’s footsteps and attended the University of Missouri. There he met his future wife, Lois. After two years at MU as an out-of-state student, Tom Carl was sure that his residence had been established in Brunswick at his grandmother’s house, and since he was over 21 and an adult, that the 28 or so months residence working and as a student would qualify him as a resident for tuition purposes. When he discovered that once a nonresident, always a nonresident, he and his fiancee eloped, married in Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa as residents. Tom Carl graduated from the U. of Iowa.

Later Tom Carl and Lois left their jobs in north central Wisconsin, and he went to school for his master’s at the U of Minnesota. Of course, after almost six years of marriage and no children, the plan was for Lois to teach and Tom Carl to go to school full-time. NOPE!
Lois realized she was pregnant the 1st semester with our 1st child, and in those days, schools did not allow pregnant teachers, so she stopped teaching, and Tom Carl started to work again. Later, after two more sons were born and some job changes occurred, Tom Carl brought his family back to Iowa. Since graduation, his profession has been Industrial Relations Personnel, Labor Relations, Human Resources, etc.

Tom Carl retired after about 30 years with his last company and immediately took a job as a groundskeeper (yard boy) for his former employer. After about ten more years, he retired from that job which he truly enjoyed.

Tom Carl loved the outdoors, working in it, walking in it (Tom Carl has walked over 4 miles per day nearly every day since 1996, until recently), and just being on God’s earth.

He did Habitat for Humanity in the community, sang in choirs and a quartet, and was a faithful churchgoer and a true believer. Some of his volunteer activities included Civil Service Commission Chairman, Oskaloosa Food Cupboard, flood, tornado, etc., relief work through the church, SHIP Counselor, UCS Healthcare work days, and others.

Probably his most notable accomplishment was to be a full-time primary caregiver, along with his wife Lois, for his youngest son, Thomas Steven, from the time of his accident until he passed away.

Those left to remember and celebrate Tom Carl’s life are his wife of 62 years; sons: Todd (Julie) Holmberg of Waverly and grandsons: Levi and Abrahm, also of Waverly; and Andrew (Kristy) Holmberg of Oskaloosa and grandchildren: Jamie (Michael) Sorensen of North Liberty and great-grandson, Camden, and Lindsey and Cale Holmberg of Oskaloosa; and assorted friends and acquaintances, and maybe some distant relatives.

Tom Carl was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Thomas “Tommy,” and a granddaughter, Josianna “Josi.”

Funeral services for Tom Carl will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, June 1, 2023, at Central United Methodist Church in Oskaloosa, with Pastor Chad Lierman officiating. Burial will be at Forest Cemetery with Military Honors by the Oskaloosa Honor Guard. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m., Wednesday, at Langkamp Funeral Chapel; the family will greet visitors from 5-7 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made to Oskaloosa Trinity Church or Oskaloosa Central United Methodist Church.

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