Thomas Gartner

Memorial services for Thomas “Tom” Gartner, 70, Lawrence will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 26, 2013, in the First Christian Church located at 1000 Kentucky Street in Lawrence, KS.  He passed away at his home on Monday, January 21, 2013.

Born in Lincoln, NE on September 29, 1942, he attended high school at Lincoln Northeast High School and the University of Nebraska.

He was married to Vanna Meyn on March 14, 1964 in Lincoln, NE.  She survives of the home.  Other survivors include cousins, Jane Eastman, Suzanne Sipp, Sally Borner, Mary Diesen, Nancy Shanahan, Terry Gartner, Don Gartner, Jr., Cindy George, and Dennis Gartner.  He is also survived by four brothers-in-law, five sisters-in-law, ten nieces and nephews and six great nieces and nephews.

Tom was preceded in death by an infant sister, Patsy Kay Alberding, his parents, Ray Alberding and Dorothy Gartner, and grandparents, H.W. and Bertha Gartner.  Also preceding him in death were aunts and uncles who meant so much to him:  Betty and Paul Stein, Don and Viola Gartner, and Harry and Lucille Gartner.

As a child, Tom developed an interest in trains and took many trips on the train to visit family in McCook, NE.  The interest became a lifelong hobby and he never visited a new town without finding the area of railroad access.  He was especially delighted if there were an old depot or museum to explore.  

A childhood illness requiring him to remain in bed gave him the opportunity to learn how to operate marionettes and he grew proficient enough to provide puppet shows for birthdays and other celebrations.  He also volunteered shows for the Orthopedic Hospital for Children in Lincoln and at the St. Thomas Orphanage.  He loved music and sang for several years with the Back to the Bible Broadcast Children’s Choir on the radio.

In his teen and young adult years, Tom learned to water ski and was a member of the Capitol Water Ski Club in his West ‘O’ Street neighborhood in Lincoln.  Later he formed and directed Capitol Water Ski Shows and the ski team performed during summers in Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Another interest for Tom was airplanes.  He was a private pilot and enjoyed flying single engine aircraft.  When on a sales award trip to Europe during the early 1970s, on board a new 747 aircraft that was a chartered flight, the pilot invited Tom to sit in the captain’s chair and operate the controls to change altitudes.  What a thrill that was for him and he loved to tell about that experience.  Just as he liked to tour depots, he never visited a town that he didn’t look for the airport or the landing strip if that was all the area afforded.

Tom’s career path was always centered on sales.  Under his leadership, the family business of Gartner Mobile Homes was the recipient of many awards for top sales.  He later became a real estate broker and enjoyed selling commercial real estate.  After moving to Texas he continued selling mobile and modular homes and real estate until his retirement.

Tom will best be remembered as a man who loved his family.  He “never met a stranger”, and was always friendly and outgoing.  He had a great love for animals and helped to rescue and rehabilitate a number of injured animals.  Three dogs, Rocky, George & Gracie will miss their daily rides in the car with him.  Tom leaves behind friends of all ages and from all walks of life.  He will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.

The family suggests memorials in his name to the Tom Gartner Memorial Fund and may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary.


37 Condolences

  1. Jim & Jane Eastman on January 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Our dear cousin, you fought the good fight over the last few years and now it is time to rest. You always had an infectious smile and we will miss you deeply. We love you very much.

  2. David & Desiree Eastman on January 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    We too will miss you and your wonderful laugh. Fly safe my friend!. We love you Vanna, you are in our prayers.

  3. Beth Feagins on January 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Our hearts may be aching but our spirits are rejoicing that you are at peace and in the arms of our Lord. I have so many wonderful memories of our times together. You will be missed.

  4. Jim Eastman on January 22, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Tom, I am so sorry that I could not remember that joke you kept asking me about. I will miss your phone calls and your laugh.

  5. Jim & Suzanne Sipp on January 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    You will truly be missed. I remember all of our wonderful time at Northeast High School and our 50th Reunion. Our prayers go out to Vanna.
    God Bless

  6. Linda and Fred Shirk on January 23, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Vanna, our thoughts and prayers are with you. We will miss Tom and his friendly smile and laughter.

  7. Carol Ann Carr on January 23, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I wish to express my deepest sympathy to Vanna and family.

    I have enjoyed getting to know Tom and his good humor even when he was having lot’s of physical challenges.
    ..Carol Ann Carr

  8. Cindy George on January 23, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Wanted you to know about the death of Tom and the time of his memorial service. Hope to see you in Lawrence on Sat.


  9. Terry & Midge Gartner on January 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Wanted you to know about the death of Tom and the time of his memorial service. Hope to see you in Lawrence on Sat.


  10. Chuck & Radonna Stein on January 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Wanted you to know about the death of Tom and the time of his memorial service. Hope to see you in Lawrence on Sat.


  11. Anita Durham on January 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Vanna,Richie called this AM about Tom. Bill is out town this week. We are both sad to know he is no longer with you but oh, what a glorious place is in! We miss you!

  12. Don Roberts on January 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Vanna, so sorry to hear about Tom. God Bless and comfort you as you go through this transition. We are praying for you.

  13. Ronnie Shields on January 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Vanna So sorry to hear about
    Tom. Just know that you are in our prayers. Love you,

  14. Jose Martinez on January 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Tom, you have been a great brother-in-law. You and Vanna were there when things go heavy for Eva and me. You also had a great input into our children’s theater cultural lives. I’m sure they will never forget that. God Bless and rest with the angels and keep on smiling. We will do our best to take care of Vanna.

  15. Jane Eastman on January 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Dear Vanna, Please forgive my mistake of sending three of our cousins a message and putting it in this entry form. I will resend under the proper form.

    See you Friday.

  16. Kathy & Scott Fichter on January 23, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    We were sorry to hear about Tom. He was a special person. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  17. Joyce Pavelka on January 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Wish I could be there for you. It is a very hard thing to go thru. Ed has been gone now 7 1/2 years. Keep as besy as you can. I send you my love and you are in my prayers.
    Love from Joyce

  18. Depot Redux on January 24, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Tom volunteered several times at our monthly depot cleaning events. He was always ambitious and thorough about the tasks he undertook and even brought his own equipment. His love of trains and depots was joyful to be around. Our campaign to save the Santa Fe Station in Lawrence was helped by Tom. We so appreciate his generous service to the campaign.

  19. Chris Meyn and Family on January 24, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Uncle Tom – I always had a great time whenever you were around. I loved how you exuded passion for things that you truly cared about. I’ll miss your stories and especially your laugh. God Bless.

  20. Barry & Liz Christen on January 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    So sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a great guy and dearly loved you. He’ll be missed. Love, prayers, and comfort.

  21. merle &kay brestel on January 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Vanna, our prayers are with you and our arms around you.we loved Tom so much,many years ,our friendship was so special.I think of all the sundays you entertained all of K!s kids on capitol beach.bless you dear love KK

  22. kay brestel on January 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Vanna our prayers are with you and our arms holding you; we loved Tom so much, you both were such special friends to us for many yrs.I love to remember K!s kids boating every sunday at capitol beach such fun we all had there.I will miss the tel. calls here in Fl. I felt special to him. God bless you dear friend,love you KK

  23. george r meyn on January 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    We will miss Tom very much. He is in our prayers along with Vanna.

  24. Sally Borner on January 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Treasured cousin, you will forever be adored by your Gartner girls!

  25. Paul & Ruth Meyn Sr on January 24, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Vanna. We love you so much and are soo sad that you lost the love of your life. Our prayers are with you in your time of berverance.

  26. Katie Kutilek on January 25, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Vanna I am so sorry for your loss. Peace be with you in this sad and difficult time. I am not able to be there for you on Saturday, but know that I am praying for you.

  27. Mary Ellen & Bernie Diesen on January 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Yes, Tom you were like our big brother. I have always enjoyed our conversations, especially the recent one. Your laugh was contagious. I have admired the devotion between you and your wonderful wife. Vanna, we love you and are here for you. God Bless!

  28. Sharon (Sipp) Fowkes on January 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Vanna,I was so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  29. Jessica & Aaron Thornton on January 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    We’re so sorry for your loss, Aunt Vanna, & we want you to know we’ll always be there for you. Uncle Tom will be greatly missed.

  30. Mike and Carol (Stohs) Roberts on January 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you and give you peace. Love you!

  31. Mary Esther (Stohs) Meeks on January 25, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Vanna, Please know I love you, if you want to talk, please give me a call. God loves you and will comfort you during these days and throughout the rest of your life. I love you, Vanna! Mary

  32. John Eastman on January 26, 2013 at 1:15 am


    I wish we could all be with you tomorrow. You are in our thoughts and prayers, as is Tom.

    John Eastman

  33. Janice and Jim Mulvany on January 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Dear Vanna, We were so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you during this difficult time. May God give you strength during these next months and maythe beautiful memories keep you strong. Janice and Jim

  34. Mike and Cathy Smith on January 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Mike and I have missed yours and Tom’s smiling faces and joyous service in our church here in Friendswood before returning to Kansas, and are saddened to learn of Tom’s passing. I know Vanna you as well as Tom are in our Lord’s loving care. We know he left a joyful footprint on every heart he knew. Blessings, Mike and Cathy Smith

  35. Don Gartner on January 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Tom, I have not seen you for many years, but will never forget our trip with Grandma and Grandpa Gartner to Denver, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, LA, Mexico, Reno and back to Lincoln. I remember we turned on the radio in a Denver hotel and it came on to the Back to the Bible broadcast. We loved riding through the mountains and looking out the vista-dome on the train. We also met Walt Disney on the second day that Disneyland was open. God Bless you! Vanna our prayers are with you! The good Lord will help you through this time of grief!! Love , Don & Carole Gartner

  36. Cindy George on January 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Vanna, You are in my prayers. I know you have many wonderful memories with Tom. May the Lord be your comforter & companion in the days ahead.

  37. Charlotte and Lloyd Digby on February 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Vanna we were sorry to hear of Tom’s home going. We just learned of it tonight. I saw in the focus paper at Friendswood. We were there for a reunion of choir members of Jerry Duffer. I know you miss Tom so much. Heaven just becomes so much closer now for all of us. He is praising our Saviour and waiting for us to get there. We wouldn’t bring any of our loved ones back. My mom went to heaven two years ago to join my brother and sister. I think of you and Tom often and much you loved the Lord. You were always so helpful for Lloyd with Emma Moorehead to get her to the assisted living to play the piano. We love you and will be praying for you.
    Charlotte and Lloyd
    Phil. 1:3

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