Cover photo for Thomas G. Richels's Obituary
Thomas G. Richels Profile Photo
1947 Tom 2023

Thomas G. Richels

September 12, 1947 — May 24, 2023

Thomas G. Richels, 75, of Breckenridge, MN, passed away Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at his residence.  His Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 3, 2023, at St. John's Church in Wahpeton, ND.  There will be visitation one hour prior to the service.  Burial will be at a later date.  Father Dale Lagodinski will officiate.  

 

Thomas G. Richels, also known as Tom, passed away on May 24, 2023. He was born on September 12, 1947, in Breckenridge, Minnesota. He was the son of George “Heinie” and Shirley (Vormelker) Richels.

 Tom graduated from Wahpeton High School in 1965. Subsequently, he pursued his education at NDSCS for two years. Later, he transferred to NDSU where he graduated in 1969.

On April 12, 1980, he was wed to Cindy Erdman at St. John’s Catholic Church in Wahpeton.  The couple was blessed with two daughters, Lindsey and Justine.  They made their home in Breckenridge, where Tom worked as the Wilkin County Engineer.

He served as the Wilkin County Engineer for 32 years and led the county through fourteen major floods during that time. His dedication to the public was not only a constant, but also positively impacted the livelihoods of many. Tom was an advocate for people whose homes and properties were destroyed.

Tom’s ingenuity was not limited to civil engineering tasks. To know Tom was to know his love of hunting, fishing and anything outdoors. He spent quality time doing what he loved with his friends and family. A favorite past time of his was fishing with his grandkids and passing on his engineering expertise through attempts at building OSHA compliant snow forts.

In recognition, of Tom’s commitment to community development in Breckenridge, MN, a park was named after him near his home. He played an essential role in building this park and walking trail. He conceptualized a brick pathway in the shape of a heart honoring children who have passed away. The “Cherish the Child” event is hosted there every year to help families celebrate lost loved ones.

In conclusion, Tom Richels was a thoughtful and innovative Civil Engineer with a passion for the outdoors and his family. Even though he is gone too soon, the memories of his kindness and accomplishments will remain with us forever.

Tom is survived by his wife Cindy; daughters Lindsay (Charles) Pogemiller and Justine (Dustin) Uran; grandchildren Julian, Ellery, Ivey, Thor, and Lila. Tom's siblings also survive him, Pat (Bernie) Steeves, Larry Richels, and Peggy (John) Schwartz.

He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Shirley Richels.



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas G. Richels, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, June 3, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

St. John's Catholic Church

115 2nd St N, Wahpeton, ND 58075

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, June 3, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. John's Catholic Church

115 2nd St N, Wahpeton, ND 58075

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 3141

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree