In Memory of

Thomas H. Hart

June 25, 1931 - April 12, 2020
From: Milford, IA | Originally: Spencer, IA
Thomas H. Hart

Thomas H. Hart

Born: June 25, 1931
Died: April 12, 2020
Age: 88

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    The life of Thomas Hughes Hart began in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 25, 1931, son of Clarence Hart and Arlene Hughes Hart. He joined two older sisters.
    The family moved to a farm south of Gillett Grove when Tom was a child. Tom attended Gillett Grove School through 8th grade. He grew up loving nature and the freedom it gave him to enjoy his horse, Tony and many other pets. His family then moved to Milford, Iowa, where he finished his high school education, graduating in 1949. During high school and college, he held several jobs, one he enjoyed the most working with Dr. Jones, veterinarian in Milford. He went on to attend Iowa State, but interrupted his college years as he joined the Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany. He then returned to Iowa State, graduating in December of 1956. He began his working career at Hormel in Austin, MN.
    Tom married Judy Stoermer on June 25, 1957. After the birth of daughter, Cynthia Ann and son, Richard Thomas and several moves, the decision was made to make a life without so many moves. Tom and Judy purchased Spencer Sewing Machine Co. in 1965 where Tom’s mechanical skills continued for 39 years. In early business years, Tom was president of ISMDA (Independent Sewing Machine Dealers of America) which was an organization to rid the business of door to door type selling, with no follow up service.
    Tom’s life was busy. He also had a small hail insurance business, lived on a small farm with lots of upkeep, was active in Rotary, was instrumental in forming the Spencer Main Street Program, was active in Grace United Methodist Church and, of course, loved the Sister’s Café coffee group.
    He was awarded the ISU alumni service award, as well as the Izaak Walton League Windbreak award for planting over 300 trees. Tom’s farm provided an excellent learning experience for his children as well as endurance and work ethic.
    In 1987, Tom and Judy moved to Okoboji, enjoying the lake, other than in 1993 when during flooding they lived “in” the lake. The opportunity to fish, enjoy boat rides, watch sunsets and walk with nature was priceless.  Tom continued to be active in Wahpeton City government and enjoy many good friends as well as Mother Nature’s creatures!
    Retirement came in 2005. A move to senior living in 2017 made life even easier for Tom until failing health made life a challenge and enjoyment much less. After spending only a day in the care center, he was transferred to the hospital.
    Tom passed in the Spirit Lake Hospital on April 12, Easter Sunday. He is missed but suffers no more.
    Left to cherish his memories are his wife, Judy; sister, Georgia Raun of Lincoln, Nebraska; daughter, Cindy Martens (Donn Martens) of Spirit Lake, Iowa; son, Rich of St. Paul, Minnesota; grandson, Cole Martens; granddaughter, Alicia Zevenbergen (Justin Zevenbergen); great-grandchildren, Kiptyn and Zoey Zevenbergen, all of Spirit Lake, Iowa; numerous other relatives and friends.


A memorial gathering will be held later this summer


Friday, May 1, 2020 at 8:04 AM
“Judy and sorry for your loss!! Will always remember seeing you both at the store and at school reunions!!”
- Barb Culver
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 7:59 AM
“Judy and family. Sorry to hear of Tom's passing. I always enjoyed our visits when seeing him in the store, at the Fair or out and about. You and Tom were good loyal Spencer business people, that helped make Spencer go. Dave and Sharyl Potratz”
- Dave Potratz
Monday, April 20, 2020 at 10:46 AM
Monday, April 20, 2020 at 10:20 AM
“Judy, we are sorry to learn of Tom's death and hope that the memories of you life with him will comfort you in the days ahead. We always enjoyed stopping at the sewing business to talk with you. Grace & Richard Keir ”
- Grace & Richard Keir
Monday, April 20, 2020 at 7:20 AM
“Coffee breaks with Tom was great. His friendship was important and he was a good friend to talk to. We will miss seeing him when we are in Spencer.”
- Leon & Ruth Baldwin
Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 2:03 PM
“For so many years Wayne enjoyed coffee twice a day with Tom. I know he missed that after your retirement. Saturday night always meant dinner with the Hart's until Wayne was no longer physically able to do so. Think of those days often and fondly. Those Sunday afternoon's watching your lake go by were priceless. My heart goes out to you, Judy, and the family. Prayers and love! ”
- Barbara Workman-Schneider
Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 2:03 PM
“So very sorry to hear about Tom. He was a great neighbor and friend. ”
- Jerry H Miller
Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 8:30 AM
“Cindy & Donn,
We are sorry to hear of your loss. May your many memories, the love and support of family and friends, and the assurance of God’s love give you peace.”
- Bev and Dave Petrick
Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 7:38 PM
“to the family of Tom Hart. You have my condolences. I am surprised and saddened to learn I Tom died. I did not know him well but I went to his store whenever I went to Spencer.( I grew up on farm East if Gillett Grove. I remember my mother Natalie Salton had much respect for Tom appreciated his opinions and like to support his business. May you find comfort in happy memories. His legacy will live on in you. God’s peace, LaVonne & Gary”
- LaVonne Salton & Gary Anderson
Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 9:53 AM
“Judy and family, we were saddened to hear Tom passed away. I am just remembering all of the coffee breaks at Sister's Cafe, time spent working for the Chamber and Mainsstreet, and the Clay County Fair! He will be missed.......”
- Gene Mary Huston
Friday, April 17, 2020 at 3:00 PM
“To the Hart Family, We are so sad to hear about Tom. He was a great man and will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless”
- Bob and Lavon Montgomery
Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 9:19 AM
“So sorry to read about Tom. I will miss waving and chatting with him on my ride by. Hope to see you out on your walks soon. Thinking of you!

- Donna/Tom Malmgren
Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 8:00 AM
“Dear, dear Judy and family; We are so sorry to hear of Tom’s death. Praying that our good Lord hugs you especially tight, and doesn’t let go. He was one of the nicest guys God ever put on earth. Bless you all. ❤️”
- Nira & Bob Rusk
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 8:45 PM
“Judy, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. ”
- Nancy Taylor
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 9:55 AM
“Judy, so sorry to her the sad news, Tom will be missed. May God wrap you in his arms and carry you through this time.”
- Becky "Fear" Hatting
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 9:29 AM
“Dear Judy and family. So sorry to hear about Tom. You have been such special friends since the good old Gillett Grove days. I will be praying for you during this difficult time. Love, Bonnie.”
- Bonnie Johnson
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