Thomas Henry Mollenkamp, 84, formerly of Richmond, died Oct. 3, 2019, in Apple Valley, California.
Tom was born Sept. 11, 1935, in Evanston, Illinois. He was the first son of Max Frederick Mollenkamp of Higginsville and Dorothy Louise (Stewart) Mollenkamp of Tecumseh, Nebraska. Tom grew up in Rochelle, Illinois, where his father owned a furniture factory. He moved to Richmond in sixth grade where he attended the Woodson School and Richmond High School, along with his brothers, Jim and Bob.
Tom loved Richmond High School and went to many class of 1953 high school reunions. He was glad to see old friends and talk about the old days – eating Maid Rite burgers in Lexington, playing B-Team football and driving (fast) to Kansas City.
After high school, he went to Northwestern University and the University of Missouri. In 1956, he met his wife Carol (Stankowski), the daughter of Anton “Stan” Stankowski and Gladys Anderson.
After graduating from Missouri with a degree in chemistry, he worked for Goodyear Tire in Akron and Celanese Plastics in St. Louis. The family moved to Massachusetts where Tom worked for Putnam Investments. He also coached youth baseball and track. The family spent summer vacations exploring the East Coast and Canada. In 1979, he moved to Apple Valley, where Tom started his own business and eventually retired.
Tom enjoyed sailing, golf, tennis and fishing. He was an avid sports fan including watching his grandchildren participate in sports. Tom learned to love jazz in the clubs of Kansas City and Chicago. Tom and Carol’s favorite pasttime was traveling. They crossed the United States many times, visiting the 50 states and following the Lewis and Clark Trail in 2004. They also traveled to Europe and Asia.
Tom is survived by his wife, Carol. He will be greatly missed by his six children: Mike of New York City; Dave (Dani) of Piscataway, New Jersey; Jean Kjellstrand (Torsten) of Portland, Oregon; Steve (Harumi) of San Mateo, California; Amy Comito of Santa Monica, California; and Chris (Kim) of Jurupa Valley, California.
He will be fondly remembered by his 11 grandchildren, Alicia, Marla, Nils, Björn, Maria, Takahiro, Shoh, Daniel, David, James and Kimberly; his brothers, Jim (Jane) of Austin, Texas; and Bob (Pat) of Rolla; his six nieces and nephews; and his brother-in-law, Jim Stankowski of Tampa.
Tom was an outgoing man who lived life to its fullest. He loved to talk to everybody and anybody wherever his travels took him. If you listen carefully, you may still hear his voice. We will always carry your laugh, lessons and smile in our hearts.
Donations may be made in Tom’s memory to the American Cancer Society.