By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
Tom Koester, 60, of Clinton, likes people. Always ready to tell a joke to put someone at ease, he likes to brighten people’s days and make them smile.
Originally from Dubuque, Tom has been in the service industry for most of his adult life. He moved to Clinton 39 years ago and managed the Shot Tower Inn, where he met his wife, Sandy. The couple will celebrate 35 years in May and have three children and three grandchildren.
Tom also has managed a Pizza Hut for 17 years and was a co-owner of a Happy Joe’s for two years. He worked for local supply and distribution companies for almost 20 years.
“I don’t try to sell anything to anybody. I try to fulfill their needs,” Tom said. “Try to fulfill their needs before they know they have a need.”
Tom plans to bring this same quality of service to his new position at Lemke Funeral Home. In November, he started at the funeral home as a “pre-need salesman.” He works with people who want to take care of the funeral arrangements and final expenses in advance.
Tom said he came to Lemke Funeral Home for several visitations and was impressed with the care they provided. He hopes to help people and their families by providing “pre-need” services. He has seen families struggle with a loved one’s final expenses when nothing was planned ahead of time.
“It’s just sad sometimes,” Tom said.
He hopes that by helping people plan these arrangements now, he can make things easier for them years from now.
In his private life, Tom stays active. He is an active member of Prince of Peace Parish and is involved with the Catholic Historical Center at St. Boniface.
He plays softball in the summer and goes ice fishing in the winter.