Thomas Heinz Schlenk, 67
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Thomas Heinz Schlenk, 67, died surrounded by love on Friday, Jan. 30, 2020, at Sacred Heart Care Center in Austin, Minnesota, following a stroke.
Tom was born on Nov. 7, 1952, in Bryan, Texas, to Hermann and Inge K. (Schier) Schlenk. Soon after, the family settled in Austin. Tom graduated from Austin High School in 1972 and went on to earn Associates Degrees in science (1974) and arts (1975) from Austin Community College. He also gained Vocational-Technical Certificates in 1978 and 1984. Austin was Tom’s home, even when he lived for a time at the family cabin on Rice Lake in Lake Mills while employed in Iowa. His main jobs were in Austin, where he worked for many years with the Red Owl, Holiday Inn, Perkins, and Cedar Valley Services, receiving several awards for his exceptional service. He also braved the harsh Minnesota weather when handling all-season newspaper deliveries. In his free time, Tom enjoyed biking, camping, road trips, vacation travel, news programs, DVDs, and 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll. He was the proud owner of a home and several cars over the years and had a special fondness for coffee ice cream, marzipan, dachshunds, and Harley Davidson motorcycles. He liked to wear baseball caps and had an extensive and varied collection.
Tom will always be remembered for his determination, dignity, and creativity in coping with the challenges he faced. While having a very loving and supportive family, Tom also had a strong desire and ability to be independent. He moved to Sacred Heart’s nursing wing only when symptoms that were later diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease became too difficult. Living there since August 2018, the wonderful, caring, and skillful staff provided valuable assistance and became an important extended family for him.
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He was preceded in death by his parents. Tom is survived by his sister, Cornelia Schlenk, and brother-in-law, Joseph (Jay) Tanski of Setauket, New York; cousins, Edward Schlenk (Florida) and Karin Symonds (Maryland); and several other relatives in Germany.
No local services are planned and interment will be private. Notes to Tom’s family may be sent c/o 20 Conscience Circle, Setauket, NY 11733. Memorials may be directed to Sacred Heart Care Center or LIFE Mower County.