Thomas R. Gard


Thomas R. Gard passed away peacefully on April 14th, 2022. Tom is the youngest child of Don and Sally.

He was born in Duluth, MN on May 5,1964. When he was 4, the family moved to Kenyon, MN. Tom graduated from Kenyon High School in the spring of 1982. In school, Tom was involved in athletics including football, wrestling and cheerleading, along with music as a member of the band and choir.

After high school, Tom enrolled at Dakota County Technical College tool and die/machining course. Tom was a stickler for organization and detail, traits that served him well for over 30 years in his profession.

In 2003, Tom married Paula Leibel. They made their home in St. Michael, MN. Paula passed away in 2016. Three years after Paula’s passing, Tom retired from his profession and moved back to Kenyon. Moving back to the community that was so dear to his heart brought him great joy.

Upon moving home, Tom was frequently seen taking walks with Ivan, his beloved Boston Terrier. Shortly after settling into his house, Tom was asked to fill a vacant seat on the Kenyon city council. Tom’s love of community and sensible approach to issues made him a valued member of the council. He took great pride in serving his community.

In the Spring of 2021, Tom was diagnosed with ALS. During the ensuing months, Tom cherished the time spent with family and friends. It was common for Tom to have family and friends travel from great distances to visit him after his diagnosis. A true testament to his kind nature and the lasting impact he made on so many people. While his condition progressed and took a toll on him physically, his mind was crisp and clear to the end.

Tom is survived by his father Donald (Patricia) Gard, his mother Sally Ray, sister Deanna Gard and his brother Paul (Deborah) Gard. Also surviving Tom are 4 nephews, 4 great-nephews and a great-niece.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife Paula and his grandparents.

Tom’s funeral will be held on May 7, 2022 at 2PM at Hauge Lutheran Church in Kenyon, MN with Pastor Larry Grove officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations to The ALS Association would be preferred. mn-nd-sd

Rochester Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and condolences of Tom may be shared at

10 thoughts on “Thomas R. Gard

  1. I am so very sorry for your loss! I had wonderful conversation with Tom and the Gunderson Home shortly after my mother, Jeanne Ellingson had passed away. Sending prayers to the family. Debora Ellingson

  2. My thoughts were frequently with Tom over these last few weeks after hearing about his ALS challenge. My best to Don, Sally, Deanna, Paul and the extended family as you all process this loss. Deep bow.

  3. Awwww Tom, I didn’t know Tom that well growing up, but came to know that he was kind as well as intelligent, silly and sweet. It’s a sad thing that the good ones are taken too soon and Tom was one of those. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and all whose lives were touched by this him. Rest in peace Tom, the battle is over and we will all see you soon.

  4. My sincere thoughts and prayers to his treasured family with their loss. I had the privilege to work with Tom the last dozen years prior to retirement. Friendly person that worked hard but made it fun. He was dedicated to excellence, loved working with others and made a difference. May he Rest In Peace.

  5. thoughts and prayer for all of you, may God hold you and give you what you need in this time, to cherish your memories with Tom.

  6. I met Tom in 1983, he was my brother John’s roommate in college at Golden Valley Lutheran College and a friendship transpired that I will cherish forever. Tom was such a genuine friend and every adventure we shared was memorable. He was defintely like a second older brother to me and I will miss him dearly. I was fortunate enough to see Tom and Ivan last summer while visiting my daughter and granddaughter in Kenyon. We had a couple beers on his deck, reminisced on good times together, greeted friends and neighbors who stopped to say “hi” and I loved every minute of it. You will be forever loved & missed by all who met you Tom.

  7. I am so very sorry to hear this about Tom. I worked with him for nine years. He was always such a pleasure to be around. I loved walking out into the shop and chatting with him. He and Paula were so sweet together. I was so brokenhearted when I heard about Paula in 2016 and now even further broken hearted to hear about Tom. It just doesn’t seem fair. However, as the song goes “ only the good die young”. God bless Tom. I hope you and Paula are dancing in the clouds to the jazz music the two of you loved.

  8. I am deeply saddened to hear of Tom’s passing and wish to convey my deepest sympathy to his family. Know that you will be in my family’s prayers.

    Tom and I developed a friendship through my interactions with ITI. There’s not enough space here for all the great things or stories I could say or tell about him.

    He was always there for anyone and was a joy to laugh and joke around with and would do anything for anyone! He took work seriously but made it fun at the same time.

    Rest in Peace Pilgrim! (Tom always addressed me as Pilgrim and it made me laugh.)

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