Thomas Hegstad, 80Dr. Thomas Clair Hegstad, 80, Alexandria, died Christmas Day, December 25, 2012.
Dr. Thomas Clair Hegstad, 80, Alexandria, died Christmas Day, December 25, 2012.
Thomas was born February 3, 1932 in Slayton, the son of Olaf and Lillian (Frisvold) Hegstad. He grew up in Slayton, where he graduated from high school.
In April 1951, Thomas joined the United States Navy. He was stationed in San Diego, California, where he was trained as a radar man. He later served aboard a destroyer, the USS Vammen, during the Korean War. Thomas received his discharge from the Navy in January 1955.
On January 31, 1953, Thomas was united in marriage to Donna Holden in Slayton. After his military service, Thomas took advantage of the GI Bill to attend the University of Minnesota, where he completed medical school. In 1963, he became Dr. Thomas Hegstad, MD and moved his family to Windom. He worked as a family practice doctor in Windom until 1979.
In 1979, he and Donna moved to Alexandria, where he practiced medicine at the Broadway Clinic. He also provided medical care from a clinic in Brandon. In 2002, at the age of 71, Thomas retired as a physician.
Thomas’ faith was very important to him. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and served as a lector at St. Mary’s Church and St. John Nepomuk Church. Thomas reflected his faith by being a tireless advocate for the unborn. He and his wife Donna have been active in the pro-life movement for many years.
Thomas enjoyed the outdoors through deer, duck and pheasant (and some large game) hunting. He enjoyed fishing with his grandchildren and extended family. He revered nature and really enjoyed being able to feed the bald eagles nesting near his home. He loved watching the birds gathered at his many feeders.
Thomas was interested in ancient history, literature and he cherished the many Indian artifacts he found on his property. Tom was a poet who wrote frequently throughout his life. Reading and writing poetry gave him great pleasure and his poems are a source of inspiration to those who have read them. His creative skills also included drawing and painting. Thomas appreciated many kinds of music, especially folk, classical and big band styles. He loved sing-alongs around the campfire. Tom and Donna traveled together to Ireland, Italy and the Holy Land.
Most important to Thomas was Donna, his children and grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Duane; step-brothers, Clifford and Donald Hegstad; and son-in-law, Bryce Lundeen.
Thomas is survived by his wife of 60 years, Donna, of Alexandria; four daughters, Cynthia Lundeen of Alexandria, Rebecca Davies and husband, Peter, of St. Anthony Village, Ramona Hegstad Benson and husband, Christopher, of Iowa City, IA and Cheryl Hegstad Maki of Forest Lake; seven grandchildren, Samantha Maki, Matthew Maki, William Benson, Eleanor Benson, Clara Benson, Joshua Davies and Brendan Davies; two brothers, Joel Hegstad and wife, Marsha, of Alexandria and Leon Hegstad and wife, Marlys, of Slayton; and one sister, Joan Henning and husband, John, of River Falls.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, December 29 at St. Mary’s Church in Alexandria. The Rev. Father Steve Binsfeld was the celebrant and Father Roger Thoennes concelebrated. Interment followed at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley. Casket bearers included all of Thomas’ grandchildren.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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