Memorial services were held for Tommy Salo on Nov. 29 at Apostolic Lutheran Church in New York Mills with Pastor Don Salo officiating. The music was provided by Janell Brakel with a duet by Corrine Meech and Shelly Maijala. The honorary pallbearers were all of Tommy's loving grandchildren. Military honors were provided by Charles D. Center VFW Post #3289 of New York Mills, and the Minnesota Army National Guard Honor Guard, Moorhead, Minn. Tom was laid to rest in Minnesota Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, Minn.
Thomas Orville Salo was born on June 9, 1942 in Leaf Lake Township, rural New York Mills. His parents were the late Alfred and Alma (Maunumaki) Salo. Tommy, affectionately known as "fatman" attended New York Mills Public School. Tommy enlisted in the United States Navy on July 7, 1959; he was only 17 years old. While he served on the USS Columbus he obtained his GED. He was honorably discharged from the United States Navy on Nov. 16, 1962. Tom was employed for a short time at the Fergus Falls State Hospital as a boiler operator. On April 24, 1965, Tommy was united in marriage with Donna Mae Skoog at the home of Rev. George Wilson in New York Mills. Tom and Donna made their home in Blaine, Minn. where Tommy was employed with the Grain Belt Brewery for a year and then the Schmidt Brewery for 10 years. In 1977 they moved back to New York Mills. Tommy was employed with Land O' Lakes in Perham, where he was a boiler operator, drove delivery truck, worked on delivery truck maintenance, and was the maintenance manager before retiring in 1997. In 2006, Tommy started "Tom's Pilot Car Service." He enjoyed escorting trucks that delivered wind generator parts all across the United States, making friends everywhere he traveled. Tommy retired in 2011.
Tom enjoyed fishing in Otter Tail County, but his favorite lake was Leech Lake. He spent many fishing openers on Leech Lake with family and friends. Tommy also enjoyed deer hunting, waterfowl hunting, NASCAR and was an avid Minnesota sports fan. He was a life member of Charles D. Center VFW Post #3289.
All of Tommy's grandchildren were very special to him, he loved spending time and laughs with each of them. He was truly proud to be their grandpa.
On Nov. 25, Tommy passed away at his home in New York Mills, at age 70. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
Preceding Tommy in death were his parents and his wife's parents; foster brothers, Elmer Makinen and Milton Makinen; six brothers-in-law; one sister-in-law; and four nephews.
Tommy is survived by his wife, Donna; two sons, Terry (Lisa) Kalmi of Surprise, Ariz. and Troy (Linda) Salo of New York Mills; daughter, Tracey (Jeff) Freeman of Anoka; seven grandchildren, Terry Lee, Nick, Amanda, Danielle, Kayse, Kendal and Kori; brothers, Bobbie (Jane) Salo of Makinen, Marlow (Dorla) Salo of New York Mills and Gerald (Joan) Salo of New York Mills; sister, Margie (David) Anderson of St Louis Park, Minn.; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and a host of friends.
Arrangements were provided by the Karvonen & Son Funeral Home of New York Mills. Tributes may be posted online at www.karvonenfuneralhome.com.