Thomas 'Tom' George Wiebke
On Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, Thomas "Tom" George Wiebke, 79, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away from a heart attack while deer hunting. He was born June 9, 1941, in Caledonia, Minn., to Junior and Lucy (Meyer) Wiebke. He grew up on a farm in rural Eitzen, Minn., and later moved to town where he attended grade school. He graduated from Caledonia High School in 1959, where he excelled in both academics and athletics. He then attended the University of Minnesota for two years, before returning home to join the family business and be with his father during his prevailing health issues.
On July 13, 1963, he married Judith Marie Comstock and they raised three children. For the next 60 years, Tom grew the family business from the small basement of Wiebke Produce, to one of the largest fur exporting companies in the country. Tom became an icon in the fur industry, where he was well known and respected throughout the world. Many referred to Tom as North America's #1 coyote expert. It was not uncommon to see people from Italy, Greece, Germany, Russia, Canada, or China, in the small town of Eitzen, while they were visiting Wiebke Fur. Tom loved interacting with customers and employees. He had a few favorite nicknames he often used, including Cowboy, Lefty, and Whistle. For those who knew him, it was an honor to be called by one of these names.
Tom was a man of many talents. He was an avid outdoors-men, experienced hunter and fisherman, and very talented card player and golfer. He was a master in the kitchen and took great pride in cooking at his cabin for his friends and family. He enjoyed making a variety of wild game and was known for his walleye and venison. He never used a recipe and was always able to create memorable meals that will be cherished.
Tom was very involved in the local community, serving on the Eitzen Fire Department and was a founding member of the Eitzen Lions Club. He also served on the Caledonia school board, MaCal Grove board of directors, Eitzen fire board, and most recently, on the board of directors for the Eitzen State Bank.
Tom is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Judy; children, Dan (Julie) of Onalaska, Dawn (John) Montague of Edina, Minn., and Jason (Dana) of Caledonia; seven grandchildren, Mara, Amanda, Melissa, Evan, Elle, Tyler, and Jenna; his sister, Judith Murdock of Mukilteo, Wash., and her children, Mark and Jennifer (Pierce) Jacoway.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Junior and Lucy; his brother-in-law, Bruce Murdock; and his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Neil and Marie Comstock.
He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all who knew him.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at St. Luke's Church, 23995 State Hwy. 76, Eitzen, Minn., 55931. A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday, and from 1 p.m. until the time of service, Friday, both at St. Luke's Church, Eitzen. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed. For those who want to listen to the funeral service from the parking lot of the church, 87.9 FM will be broadcasting the funeral. Online condolences may be left at jandtfredrickson.com.
Jandt Fredrickson is assisting the family with arrangements.