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Thomas Leo “Tom” Schlangen, age 83, of Albertville and formerly of Forest Lake, MN passed away on March 1, 2023

He was born on January 2, 1940 in Little Falls, MN the son of Andrew and Mary (Reitmeier) Schlangen, the youngest of eleven children.

He graduated from Little Falls High school in 1957 and went on to graduate from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD.

He married Joann C. Pierzina on November 4, 1961 in Randall, MN.  God blessed their marriage with two children.

Mr. Schlangen was a mechanical engineer and began his career at Pratt Whitney and ended his career with Control Data in Arden Hills, MN.

He retired when he was forty-eight and took up woodworking.  Tom was an avid woodworker and generous with his creations.  As time went by, he took up the hobby of clay pottery.  He enjoyed time at the cabin and was an extraordinary flower gardener.  He was a beloved uncle who had a special place in the hearts of many nieces and nephews.  Tom was a prolific writer who wrote uplifting and inspiring letters to extended family and friends and also had a small book of his stories published.  He was very fond of reading books to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Survived by his loving wife of sixty-one years Joann C. Schlangen; a daughter Catherine (Hans) Alwin; a son Daniel Schlangen; grandchildren Kelsey (Tom) Bishop, Hans (Rachael) Alwin and Natalie Alwin; great-grandchildren Cora, Abby and James Bishop; other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial service with a time of sharing will be held on Saturday, March 11th at 1:00 PM at The Peterson Chapel, St. Michael/Albertville Funeral Home.  Pastor Dean Brown will officiate.  Vocalist will be Tom Bishop and organist will be Duane Esterly.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, March 11th one hour prior to services at the funeral home.

The family would to thank The Peterson Chapel for their gracious assistance with the funeral arrangements.

3 Guestbook Entries

  1. Mary Twist

    Dear Joann, Cathy, Danny and family,
    With deepest sympathy for your loss. Fond memories from my childhood of ‘Mr. Schlangen’, a great neighbor to the Reese’s in Forest Lake. With love, Mary (Reese) Twist of Spencerport, NY

  2. Mark Schlangen

    So sad to see him go but glad he’s home. May God bless all those who were close and cared about this dear man whose smile lit up the room.

  3. Tom Hanowski

    Uncle Tom was indeed a beloved uncle. I always enjoyed visiting with him at family gatherings and appreciated his genuine thoughtfulness and concern for me and what was going on in my life. Most memorable was the time I stayed with him and Aunt Joann a few days at their home in Forest Lake when I was transitioning from the U of M in Morris, to the U of M in Minneapolis to continue my Mechanical Engineering studies. Being a Mechanical Engineer himself, I remember picking Uncle Tom’s brain about whether I should also be a Mechanical Engineer. He told me stories about working on cars with his brother Buddy, how they used the big tree in the yard at home to hoist engines in and out of cars. He showed me his impressive wood shop and creations. He told me stories about his job at Pratt & Whitney, makers of big jet engines. I especially liked the story about the “chicken canon”, used to fire a dead chicken into a running jet engine to see if it could withstand a bird trike. In the end, I decided to continue with Mechanical Engineering and eventually became a Mechanical Engineer, just like Uncle Tom (and Uncle Bud). I am proud to be in such good company! Aunt Joann and cousins Cathy and Dan, I am so very sorry for your great loss. I pray that God gives you peace and consolation at this very difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


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