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Thomas Kolodziej

thomas kolodziej
Thomas John Kolodziej age 68 of Nashua, IA died Wednesday, September 15, 2021, from injuries sustained in a car accident. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 2, 2021, at Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory - Olson Chapel in Nashua with Rev. Brian Dellaert officiating. Inurnment will take place at a later date. Friends may greet the family from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 2, 2021, at the Funeral Home prior to the service. Tom was born on July 6, 1953, to Stanley and Dorothy (Juszczak) Kolodziej in Hammond, Indiana. He was the second oldest of five brothers, and his younger siblings remember him as a great big brother who liked to buy them ice cream cones and just give them the most precious gift, his time, of all. He graduated from Hammond Morton High School in 1971 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and he made the Air Force his career — working on electronics for the Strategic Air Command. He served his country around the globe, including places like Alaska’s Aleutian Islands near the Soviet Union, Berlin, and Edinburgh, Scotland. In the mid-1980s, Tom was stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, where he met an employee for the defense contractor GTE Aerospace named Sandy Hvitved. Although Sandy was based in San Jose, California, the two hit it off and made their cross-country relationship work before they were married on March 27, 1987, in Carson City, Nevada. Tom retired from the Air Force in 1992 and moved to San Jose, where the couple lived until Sandy retired in 1996. They moved to Sandy’s hometown of Nashua, where Tom began a computer business called Stansson. Tom did everything from setting up computer networks to helping those unfamiliar with the machines set up the basics like email and he liked to fix computers. Tom was proud to be a veteran, and he was a member of the Nashua VFW and American Legion posts, serving as a commander for both organizations over the years. He also was instrumental in making sure that students attending Nashua-Plainfield schools came to know veterans and was a mainstay in the school’s Veterans Day program and also led numerous Memorial Day observances in his adopted hometown. He did not have any children of his own, but he was, to put it simply, a great uncle to his brothers’ children. He never missed a birthday, always calling them on their big day, and enjoyed thoroughly the time he was able to spend with them. Tom lost the love of his life on Feb. 14, 2013, and he missed Sandy dearly, but he persevered and found new hobbies — including taking up ham radios and earning his amateur radio license — in recent years. His rural home was also a sort of Noah’s Ark, where animals seemed to appear out of nowhere. He kept Sandy’s horse, Charlie, had a pair of goats and, over the years, a barn full of cats, raccoons, and other animals that knew Tom would always have food for them. Tom will be remembered for many things — his love for his family and his country, his commitment to his fellow veterans, and his dedication to students — and those that knew and loved him will greatly miss him, but they also know he lived a life of service and is now reunited with the love of his life, Sandy. He is survived by three brothers, Gary (Becky) Kolodziej of Friendswood, Texas, Jeff (Cindy) Kolodziej of Vail, Arizona; Ken (Shari) Kolodziej of St. John, Indiana; many nieces and nephews; the many men and women he served with; and veterans he so tirelessly supported. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Sandy; and one brother, Leon (Flo) Kolodziej.

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  1. Our sincere sympathy to all of his family. Tom was always so friendly and always had a story to share. He will be greatly missed in the community and all he did for the VFW.

  2. I can’t tell you how many times I called Tom to arrange for Military services or Honor Squads for for our local veterans. Tom was always so caring and reliable, sure made my job easier, R.I.P. My friend !

  3. “So very sad to hear of his passing. He was a great person…And Lynn Szydlowski’s favorite..we all ate leftover burnt cookies after she mailed the “best” ones to him! Joe (Szydlowski) teased hm about that every time we had a chance to visit with him…We still display the Christmas nutcracker he gave Joe and I one Christmas. If I recall correctly he was stationed in Germany for a while…1970’s?”

  4. “Good friends are so very hard to find. It’s even harder now that they are beginning to fade away. I spent so much time at the Kolodziej house. I was his mom’s den chief. When I can’t remember my own name I will always be able to spell theirs.”

  5. We were inseparable throughout SCS & MHS. I will always cherish the New Tears Eve he was home on leave and spent with us! Go in peace my friend, you are entitled to an eternity of rest! With all my love and memories, Bill Payonk

  6. My name is Twila Dietz and I worked at the Nashua-Plainfield Elementary School. I helped start a Veterans Day program for our Elementary School and Tom was always willing to help and participate. He was one that would go into the classrooms and talk with the students, share experiences with them and help them appreciate our veterans. He served his community well and will be missed by many. So sorry for your loss.

  7. What a good guy to go to St Catherine of Sienna grade school with, Hessville boy, good friend and a tough football player!

  8. I was stationed with TK at Ft Meade. I was thinking of him today and looked him up. My sincerest condolences to his family. He was really nice guy and I have nice memories of him helping out a new airman back in the day. <3

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