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Thomas Gartner

Visitation:
Thursday, March 15, 2012
5:30 PM until 8:30 PM
Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home
2801 SW Urish Road
Topeka, KS 66614

Service:
Friday, March 16, 2012
1:00 PM
Most Pure Heart of Mary Church
3601 SW 17th Street
Topeka, KS 66604

Special Services:
There will be a Knights of Columbus Chalice Ceremony and Rosary at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home followed by visitation until 8:30 p.m.



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THOMAS J. GARTNER



Our Husband, Father and Grandfather, Tom Gartner, left this Earth after a long and valiant fight on March 10, 2012. Dad was born in Topeka on February 5, 1929, graduated from Hayden High School, served in the United States Navy for five years and then graduated from Washburn University.

Dad started working while a student at Washburn. Upon graduation with a BBA, Dad started in the Claims Department of the Santa Fe. He worked at Santa Fe until his retirement in 1990, retiring as the Regional Claims Manager of the Eastern Lines. Dad was a railroader through and through and so proud to have worked for the Santa Fe.

Dad was active in the Shrine, was in the Legion of Honor, served in the Greeter's Unit, and worked the Circus and other Shrine fundraisers. Dad was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council No. 4254 and the James W. Gibbons Fourth Degree Assembly. Dad and Mom have been members of Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church since moving back to Topeka in 1968. Dad was an usher and he and Mom have been very active members of the Church throughout their lives. Dad also was involved in the Santa Fe Oldtimers Group and was a past president.

Dad and Mom were members of Shawnee Country Club for years where Dad played golf and looked for golf balls. He ended up with more golf balls then he ever needed.

Diagnosed with lung cancer in two lobes seven years ago, we went down to M.D. Anderson, Houston, Texas where we met a fabulous thoracic surgeon, Dr. Wayne Hofstetter, who saved Dad's life and enabled him to thoroughly continue to enjoy his life. Despite a recurrence of his cancer seven years later, Dad continued the good fight.

It was not until August, 2011, when he was taken to Stormont with severe abdominal pain that his life really changed. He had a bowel obstruction, lost part of his intestine and colon, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease by Dr. William Sachs. Thereafter, he developed an abscessed wound, developed a fistula, endured two, separate operations and was given the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick four different times. Despite all the best efforts and prayers, Dad became so weak from not eating, having a hard time breathing, and developing severe heart issues that he could just not keep up the fight.

Dad spent almost all of his time from August to the present in Stormont or in a hospital like setting. On behalf of Dad, we want to thank all of the wonderful nursing personnel who assisted Dad and provided him TLC. The staff on the Fourth Floor, South Tower of Stormont, paid particular care to Dad and we, his family. We were also treated great at the Rehab Unit at Lexington Park and were blessed to have Dr. Kevin Sundbye as Dad's physician while at Lexington Park as well as Christal, Tess and other staff members.

Dad leaves his wife of 59 years, Joyce, to enjoy their joint memories of trips, outings with friends, golfing and family events. Dad also leaves his children, Chris Gartner (Sylvia), Nancy Freund (Jay) as well as grandchildren, Jordan Gartner, Bradley Gartner (Sandra), and Kate Freund Niemann (Eric).

Dad was a very special person. If you did not get to know him, you missed knowing a quality man, a man of honor, integrity and grit. Dad's huge hands lovingly protected us all his life. Now God has taken him with His even larger hands and has welcomed him to a better place where he and his buddy, Herb Huseth, can maybe finally shoot a better golf score.

Kevin Brennan Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Dad's going away party with friends will occur from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home with the Knights of Columbus Chalice Ceremony and Rosary at 5:30 p.m. Dad's funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m. at Most Pure Heart of Mary Church on Friday, March 16, 2012.

Contributions may be made to Marian Clinic or M.D. Anderson and sent in c/o Kevin Brennan Funeral Home, 2801 SW Urish Road, Topeka KS 66614.



 

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