Thomas James Forstner, 88

Published 10:12 am Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thomas James Forstner, 88, a longtime Austin resident and retired Hormel Foods Corp. employee, died Thursday, May 29, 2014, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Home in Austin.



Tom was born March 24, 1926, in Madelia, Minn., the son of Theodore and Mary Forstner. He graduated from Madelia High School in 1944 and was inducted into the U.S. Army that July. He served as a cannoneer with the 805th Field Artillery Unit, 22nd Corps, in Europe from January 1945 until the end of the war. Following the war, he performed across Europe as a snare drummer with the 112th Army Ground Force Band. He was honorably discharged from the Army, July 8, 1946.

He married Sally Ann Pyan on May 13, 1950, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, Minn. They lived in Madelia, where he worked for the family business, Forstner Fire Apparatus, until he was hired by Hormel Foods in May 1953. He worked there for 32 years until retiring in January 1986.

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Tom was a member of the VFW and American Legion for over 60 years, and several drum and bugle corps earlier in his life. He was a two-time VFW national champion snare drummer. He made his Freedom Flight to the World War II Memorial in October of 2008. He and his wife, Sally, have been members of St. Augustine Catholic Church since moving to Austin in 1953.

Tom is survived by his wife, Sally of Austin; a daughter, Barbara (Jim) Kauphusman of LaCrosse, Wis.; a son, Sandy (Pam) Forstner of Austin; two brothers, Larry (Dorothy) Forstner of Sumter, S.C., and Robert (Joan) Forstner of Fargo, N.D.; two sisters, Audrey Schick of Bloomington, and Florence (Eldon) Hibbard of Parowan, Utah; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two brothers and a sister.

Arrangements are being handled by Mayer Funeral Home in Austin. A memorial service will be held at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church at a later date, followed by inurnment in Calvary Cemetery. A funeral notice will be published in advance of those services.

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