Nels Thomas Rodvang was born in Coronation Hospital on May 8, 1927 to Norwegian immigrant parents, Andrew and Ragnhild Rodvang.
He passed away peacefully on June 21, 2019 at the Coronation Long Term Care Centre, where he had spent the last two years of his life, surrounded by loving family, friends and community.
Tom grew up on his parents’ homestead near Throne, Alta.
He was a beloved son and esteemed older brother to four sisters.
At age seven, Tom started school in Throne and attended until Grade 9.
When he was 16, Tom had earned enough money from his trap lines to attend Olds College where he studied agriculture and made life-long friends.
Following college, Tom returned to the family farm and helped to support his younger sisters as they went off to school.
Tom met Anna Margaret Griffiths of Fleet, Alta. in 1946.
They married in 1953 and bought a homestead farm where they lived for seven years and welcomed four of their five children.
In 1959, a farm fire destroyed all but their little house, so Tom and Anna built a house at Tom’s parents’ place.
Here they welcomed their youngest child and raised their family.
In 1982, they built another country home.
As their children married and grandchildren arrived, they hosted many gatherings and celebrations and shared their love of the farm with their family and friends.
Tom and Anna retired to Coronation in 2009.
During his lifetime in agriculture, Tom developed exceptional skills as a farmer, rancher, innovator, welder and machinist.
He was pleased and proud when his sons and daughters-inlaw joined and helped to expand the family farm and build lives for themselves and their children.
Tom was a wise, warm, generous, gentle and unfailingly supportive husband and father.
He read extensively and gained deep insights into a wide range of topics.
As his children grew, Tom progressed from sharing their bedtime stories to helping out with complicated problems in math and physics.
Tom is lovingly remembered by his wife Anna, children Kathryn (Rob) Lannigan, Andrew (Lois) Rodvang, Loren (Jackie) Rodvang, Carolyn (Peter) Andrews and Joan (Ron) McNeil.
He is also survived by grandchildren Heather (Doug) Kavanagh, Darragh (John) Creary, Julie (Shawn) Baxter, Allison Rodvang, Eric Rodvang, Leah Rodvang, Evan Rodvang, Holly Andrews, Kate Andrews and Alayna McNeil; and great-grandchildren Nolan Creary, Luke and Ryan Kavanagh and Emma Baxter.
Tom is also survived by his sisters Anne Weiss, Edith Braithwaite and Bertha Gjertsen; his brother-in-law Ken Needham and sister-in-law Jean Checkel as well as many nieces and nephews.
Tom was predeceased by his parents Andrew and Ragnhild, his sister Astrid Needham and his granddaughter Kristin Rodvang.
It was Tom’s wish not to have a funeral.
Memorial donations can be made to the Coronation Long Term Care Centre or a charity of choice.
Card of Thanks
The family would like to thank the physicians and staff at Long Term Care, and also Tom’s extended family and friends in the community for all their kind support and good wishes.