Growing up across the street from the DeChandts provided many exciting memories, from joining Tom & his father & brothers watching boxing on TV because we didn't have one, to playing rodeo cowboys for hours using real ropes. We graduated high school together & though we lost touch over the years, he made it a point to keep in touch with our family. He always smiled & was enthusiastic about life. We are saddened by his loss & extend condolences to his wife & family.
Tom grew up across the street from me in Mandan, ND. We did many things together (he taught me how to shoot a 30.06 among other things). I wrote to him during his service in Vietnam. While we lost contact for many years I was able to contact him in San Diego and a couple years ago my wife and I were able to have lunch with him in Las Vegas with his lovely wife and charming daughter. Tom will be missed... he was/is an active part of my growing up. Pleasant journeying, friend.
We were neighbors, growing up together from when Tom was a little boy. He was a cheerful, self-reliant kid, with his feet on the ground. He had a kind heart, a good sense of humor, along with common sense. It was a pleasure to see him and his family in the summer of 2013, when he came back to visit his old stomping grounds, and to see that his personality and character had remained solidly the same over the past 60-plus years. A life well lived. R.I.P. Condolences to his family from the Mandan McClellands.
I always admired Toms sense of humor and love of life. It was especially fun when he was with Bob each telling stories that made you laugh till you cried. He will be missed.
As a former classmate in Mandan, reconnecting with Tom and family was such a great experience. The time was way too short buddy! Dick and I will miss you tons!!