Thomas W. Myers, DVM, 77, of New Holstein courageously chose to end his earthly struggles on Nov. 30, 2022 at home.
Tom was the loving and beloved husband of Joelle (Christel) Myers, the devoted and supportive father of Kelly and Emily Myers, and caring stepfather of Joe, Tom and John Lavey.
He was born in Chicago, Illinois Dec. 25, 1944, the second of five children born to J. Gordon and Mary (Fidler) Myers. He grew up in Chicago, graduated from South Shore High School in 1962, Rockford College in 1966 and the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine in 1971. It was during vet school that this city boy developed an interest in dairy cattle.
After graduation he moved to Wisconsin to begin work as a country vet, eventually becoming a partner/owner of the St. Anna Veterinary Clinic. Dr.Tom thrived in his role as a farm vet developing friendships with farmers, watching their families grow and caring for their cows and pets.
He welcomed the variety of a mixed animal practice. One memorable day he performed a C-section on a 1700-pound Holstein in the morning and on a 17-ounce chinchilla in the afternoon. Tom had a lifelong fascination with animal behavior and training.
Tom’s post-retirement work centered on dairy herds, working as a dairy nutritionist at CP Feeds in Valders and as the environmental manager and OSHA administrator at Holsum Dairies north of Chilton.
Throughout his career, Tom was a strong advocate for animal comfort and well-being, serving a term as chair of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Committee.
As a forward-thinking healer, Tom embraced alternative treatments to supplement traditional medical practices. He certified in veterinary acupuncture in 1986, and held membership in the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society during his practice years.
Tom survived a devastating motorcycle crash in 2004, living the rest of his life as a paraplegic. His strength of character and the support of family and friends sustained him though many challenges and medical complications. His life of active independence disappeared in a moment, but his friendly ways, intellectual curiosity and genuine interest in others continued. He was an unofficial counselor to many, a mentor to some and an inspiration to all.
Tom was a passionate advocate for social justice, actively taking part in efforts to integrate restaurants during his college years. He respected all points of view, and was unafraid to assert his own.
Known as a deliberate thinker, a slow and considered speaker and an even slower eater, his flip side was evidenced by his daredevil antics on the ski hill and his pedal-to-the-metal driving style. He embraced new technology, pitching in as the unofficial IT guy at home and at work—And he seemed to take great pleasure in providing the family with an endless supply of wireless phone chargers.
His grandchildren will remember snuggling on his lap for wheelchair rides, playing the ‘manners meals’ game and careening down his wheelchair ramp on their kiddie toys.
Tom was married first to Ann Fliehler, who became the mother of their two daughters. In 1984 he married Joelle Lavey, who brought her three sons into their blended family.
He is survived by his wife; daughter Kelly (Francisco Garcia) Myers and their daughter Ana Francisca ‘Kika’ Garcia; daughter Emily (Jacob Michaels) and their son Lev Thomas Michaels; stepsons Joe Lavey, Tom Lavey and John (Melissa) Lavey and their children Dylan, John Jr, Julia, Devon, Julianna, Danica and Dakota Lavey.
Also surviving are his beloved sister Betsy (Robert) Glorch; brother Charles ‘Doc’ (Kay) Myers; in-laws Rhoda Myers, Betty Christel nad Bruce (Joye) Christel; along with nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his “little brother” Joe Murray; and “Norwegian daughter” Hilde Solem Olsen.
He was predeceased by his parents; parents-in-law Roman and Erna Christel; brothers Robert Myers and James Myers; in-laws Donald “Pat” Christel, Clifford and Caroline Christel.
Memorial gifts can be directed to the family for Ledgeview Nature Center, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Child Fund International.
A gathering to remember Tom and celebrate his life will be held in June 2023. Meantime, save and savor your memories and know that every act of compassion in your life will be a tribute to Tom’s memory.
For further details, please contact Sippel Funeral Home in New Holstein at 920-898-4300 or visit www.sippelfuneralhome.net.