Thomas Jones Southard, Jr.

Thomas Jones Southard, Jr., of Laurel, IA, passed away October 19, 2018, at Bickford Senior Living in Marshalltown, IA. A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m., Saturday, November 10, 2018, at Anderson Funeral Homes in Marshalltown. Visitation will be 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 9, 2018, at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the American Legion in Laurel or First Congregational Church of Marshalltown. Online condolences may be sent to

Tom was born in Marshalltown to Thomas and Marion Southard. Tom attended a one room school near Green Mountain for his first eight years of education. He graduated from Marshalltown High where he lettered in track and football. The first football game Tom played in for MHS was also the first football game he had ever seen. Tom was honored as an All-Time Bobcat and was part of the All-Time MHS football team. During his senior year of 1943, the Bobcats were undefeated and unscored upon. Four members of the team, including Tom, were named First-Team All-State. Tom served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Upon returning from the Navy, he attended ISU on the GI Bill, majoring in Animal Husbandry and playing tackle on the ISU football team. He married Virginia F. Whitehill on December 31, 1948. Their deep love endured throughout their 67 years of marriage. Tom took over his father’s farm near Laurel in 1951. Tom farmed his entire life where, by necessity, he was an electrician, plumber, carpenter, veterinarian and animal breeder. Tom was voted Outstanding Young Farmer, served on the Marshall Co. Soil Conservation Commission (from 1957-1963) and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Farmers Coop Elevator. He received the Iowa Soil Conservation Achievement Award in 1964 and was selected as the Master Pork Producer in 1987. Tom served for many years on the board of directors for Security Bank. Tom was a member of the American Legion in Laurel. The family attended the First Congregational Church where Tom taught Sunday school and participated in Cum Double. Tom and Ginny hosted many bridge games in their home. Known for his sense of humor, his ability to spin a yarn and a memory for detail, his gentle and loving spirit will be sorely missed by all those whose lives he touched. Tom was a man of generous spirit, quiet dignity and humbleness that inspired respect and admiration from those who knew him well, especially within his family.

Tom is survived by three children: Thomas Jones (Pat) Southard III, Ceryl K. Southard, Peter B. (Cheryl) Southard; three grandchildren: Kathryn Southard (Sam Dunn), Christopher Southard and Emily Southard, as well as a great grandson, Henrik Thomas Southard-Dunn. He is also survived by nephew Larry Southard and numerous grand nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia; granddaughter Jessica; parents Thomas Sr. and Marion; brothers Boyd (Grace) and Hugh; sister Genevieve and nephew Richard.