Ralph T. "Tom" Anderson
1935 - 2017
Ralph T. "Tom" Anderson


Tom Anderson passed away peacefully on Friday, May 19, 2017, after a brief fight with cancer. Tom was born in Des Moines, IA September 10, 1935 to Ralph and Erla Anderson.

He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1953. On August 24, 1956, he married Julie Allen. They settled in Des Moines after graduating from the University of Iowa in 1957. Tom worked in the family's business, TEJM, Mutual Service, Inc. as a wholesale non-foods distributor, retiring as President. Tom achieved the rank of First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, and in 1971 served as President of Beaverdale Little League. In later years, he pursued two ventures as owner of Vic's Corn Popper in Des Moines and The Antiqueollectors Mall in West Des Moines. Tom was a proud alumna of the University of Iowa, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, and lifelong fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes! Tom and Julie enjoyed travel with friends and family with great memories of Clear Lake, IA and St. Pete Beach, FL. He was an avid golfer at Hyperion Field Club, and a passionate bridge player at ACBL Bridge Center.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Julie, his parents, and his brother Jim. He is survived by one brother, Mike. Tom is also survived by his immediate family: son, Scott (Debbie) Anderson of West Des Moines; daughter, Sue (Kenton) Heuertz of Johnston; his five grandchildren: Ashley (Matt) Thoreson, Kiley (Erich) Ottervanger, T.J. Anderson, Jamie Hammen, Alex Hammen, and six great-grandchildren.

Tom will be laid to rest with his wife, Julie, in a private service. A celebration of Tom's life will be held Friday, July 28, 2017 at Christopher's Restaurant in Des Moines, 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Memorial contributions may be made to Blank Children's Hospital and condolences may be sent to [email protected]

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by the Des Moines Register on May 28, 2017.
Celebration of Life
6:00p.m. - 9:00p.m.
Christopher's Restaurant
, Des Moines, IA
Sponsored by the Des Moines Register.
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3 Entries
We go clear back to Hyperion days. We were in a couples bridge club with Tom and Julie and years later low and behold Tom shows up at the Bridge House. Many great memories.
Dave & Gloria Ward
May 29, 2017
I haven't seen Tom for awhile ,but one of my memories is Tom's love of business. He would want to know all about your business and how it functioned. Tom was a great salesman himself and very personable. He will be missed.
Denny Elwell
May 28, 2017
Tom was a remarkable man in so many ways. He was a great employer, mentor and a Father figure to more than just his own children. I was saddened to hear about his passing.

I worked for Tom when I was younger and learned many business and life lessons from him. I remember popping popcorn listening to Rush Limbaugh weekday afternoons or the Hawkeyes on many a Saturday with Tom. Together we spent many afternoons dreaming of our next steps in business and life.

I spent many Holidays with the Andersons and always appreciated that I was treated as part of the family. I always loved Julie's cooking and Toms ability to mix me a pretty good cocktail. Seeing the joy his children and grandchildren brought him was very influential on me. There will always be second chances in business, but you only have one family he told me.

Tom's biggest accomplishment in life was his kids and his grandchildren. When I knew and worked for him, his family was everything to him. Keeping the pool going year after year for those Sunday dinners and swims with the grandkids was his favorite part of summer.

Life took me in a different direction and our paths had not crossed in several years. As with a mentor, his lessons and memories of him cross my mind almost daily. Tom will be missed by all that knew him.
May 28, 2017
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