Thomas Robel Obituary

Thomas Charles Robel
Thomas Robel
Thomas Charles Robel

April 1, 1929 - October 18, 2013
Born in Manhatten, KS
Resided in West Des Moines, IA
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After a valiant 25 year struggle with Parkinson's Disease, Thomas Charles Robel died October 18, 2013, at Edgewater Long Term Care, Woodbine Unit, in West Des Moines. Funeral services will be held 1 pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013, at Iles-Westover Chapel. Following the service cremation rites will be afforded.

Born April 1, 1929, in Manhattan, KS, to Thomas Benjamin Robel and Ruth Amelia Swallow, he lived in Mission, KS until 1945 when his father was killed in a car accident. Tom was 16 years old at the time.

Thomas and his mother moved to their family farm in Dallas County, Iowa. He graduated from Waukee High School in a class of 16 students. Tom attended Drake University while working for Grimes Canning Company in Grimes and helping his Uncle Charles Moschel build the student union at ISU in Ames.

Married on November 14, 1953, to Linda Marjorie Jones in Des Moines, they moved again to the farm in 1959 when his mother was killed in a private plane crash in Dallas Center. Two children were born, Thomas (Juanita Maher) Benjamin in 1955, and Rebecca Louise in 1958, one grandchild, Melissa Coon was born in 1990.

With a degree in accounting from AIB, he worked for Hawkeye Insurance and then for Preferred Risk, now Guide One Insurance, for 26 years. Tom served in the Army Reserve for nine years and reached the rank of Master Sergeant.

Tom was a member of the National Insurance Accountants Association, the Moose Lodge of Camdenton, MO, Izaak Walton League in Des Moines and Friendship Force.

When Tom retired from Preferred Risk in December, 1991, he and Linda realized his life-long dream to go to Africa with Friendship Force. Several other trips with the Friendship Force group took them to China (one year after the Tiananmen Square uprising), South America, Australia and Cuba. He loved to take the whole family camping. With a tent they spent vacations in many states and even Washington, D.C.

A truly loving man, he enjoyed most of his time with family and all the friends he made in the world.

The family will receive friends from 5 - 7 p.m. Tuesday at Iles-Westover Chapel. Any donations made in his honor should be directed to Maple Grove United Methodist Church, PO Box 845, Waukee, Iowa 50263. Online condolences will be welcomed at


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Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Westover Funeral Home
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
1:00 PM