August 14, 1929 - May 1, 2022
Thomas Nelson Tjornhom, D.C., age 92, passed away peacefully at the Veterans Hospital in Minneapolis on May 1, 2022. Survived by his wife, Nancy, of 67 years; daughters Lisa (Randy) Roehl of Burnsville, MN, and Sarah (Scott) Reid of St. Paul, MN; sons, Jon of Richfield, MN and Tedd of Franklin, TN; sister Barbara (Richard) Nelson; 16 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Thomas and Stella Tjornhom; son, Christopher Tjornhom; sisters Donna (Luther) Tverberg and Beth (Wayne) Ekelund; and great granddaughter, Demi Rodriguez. Tom was born on August 14, 1929, to Tom and Stella Tjornhom in Saint Paul. He and his sisters, Donna, Barbara, and Beth were raised in a home frequented by extended family and filled with music. Following the footsteps of his mother, a singer, Tom sang in the junior choir at Immanuel Lutheran Church, where he was also a boy scout in Troup 90. He played trombone solos and duets at church with his father. Tom went to Groveland Elementary School and got his first job delivering St. Paul papers. While attending St. Paul Central High School, Tom was president of the rifle club and played his trombone in the marching band. He played in a jazz combo led by his lifelong friend, trumpet man Bob Ochs. The Tjornhom family spent many summers at Otter Tail Lake, a place Tom loved to share with friends and family over the years. Tom majored in music education at Macalester College and played trombone gigs several nights a week. He worked at Yellowstone Park the summers of 1947 and 1948. In college, Tom discovered a love for vocal group arrangements. He did vocal arrangements for and performed in the Par Four quartet, which won an Arthur Godfrey radio show contest, being featured on the program a full week. (Par Four Music Par-Four Quartet - You're Making A Wreck Out OF Me - Nice 50's Pop Ballad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WiuYI6PFyc) It was at Macalester that Tom met his lifelong sweetheart, Nancy Luxon, in German class. They were married on June 11, 1955, and spent their first year in Colorado Springs, CO where Tom was stationed at Fort Carson. An inseparable couple, Tom and Nancy enjoyed getaways together to include trips to Florida, the Bahamas, England, Scotland and the east coast. Nancy assisted Tom at his office, and he joined her in many ministry and volunteer activities. Together with Tom’s sister, Barbara, and her husband, Dick, they sang at family gatherings throughout the years. (The Sentimentals Music https://youtu.be/GNwyPxzDoqo) Proud of his service in the US Army. Tom was extremely patriotic. He loved to honor other veterans, fly an American flag, and sing and play military songs that he arranged for many bands. He played trombone in an Army band as well as many jazz bands, trios, big bands, and symphonic bands over his many years as a professional musician. Tom founded the Bloomington chapter of The Society for Preservation and Enjoyment of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America. He wrote and arranged many compositions for them. Tom was the founder and musical director of the Satin Jazz music group and continued to play gigs up until last fall. (Satin Jazz www.satinjazzlive.com ) Following in his father’s footsteps, Tom became a Doctor of Chiropractic and was the first chiropractor in Bloomington, MN when he set up practice in 1956. He worked into his 90s always doing what he could to alleviate suffering. Graduating from Northwestern College of Chiropractic (now Northwestern Health Sciences University) in 1952, he served on their alumni board for many years and was their distinguished alumnus of the year in 2000. Tom was named chiropractor of the year in 1969. He served as the President of the Minnesota Chiropractic Association, working tirelessly to advance chiropractic care in Minnesota. Tom and Nancy settled in Richfield where they raised their five kids in a home filled with learning, adventure and fun that included family road trips, camping, downhill skiing, sailing, a back yard ice rink and lots of time at Otter Tail Lake. Their door was always open to friends and family. A visionary and constant encourager, Tom passed on his optimism and work ethic to his children as he encouraged and supported their dreams. His musical influence led some of them to become professional musicians, and he was an integral part of the “Tjornhom Machine,” campaigning tirelessly to help his son, Chris, become state representative for Richfield. A dearly loved “Papa” to his 16 grandchildren and to 9 great grandchildren, Tom was unafraid to get on the floor and do horsey rides, wear a silly hat, or use funny voices to the delight of the children. He and Nancy were highly involved in their grandkid’s lives, attending plays, concerts, sporting events and birthday parties. Tom passed his love of music on to his grandchildren, encouraged them to join school bands and even helped find used instruments. He created Christmas and patriotic arrangements for them to play together and spearheaded the annual family band float for the 4th of July parade up north. Grandkids will always remember Papa reading Luke chapter 2 at Christmas celebrations. Papa was also a prayer warrior, regularly lifting up each grandchild by name. Tom lived a life faith and service. He and Nancy were active members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where they developed lifelong friendships. He served as Sunday school teacher with Nancy, council member, choir director. He played upright bass with the gospel group Gamble Folk, ministering at many churches and playing at a Billy Graham Crusade. (Gamble Folk Music https://youtu.be/AfwxsJWs3BA ) He and Nancy were greatly impacted by the Lutheran Holy Spirit renewal in the 1970’s. Supporters of faith-based education, they started a band and a choir at Powderhorn Christian School. Tom served on several boards including the Mjorud Evangelistic Association, the Wilderness Fellowship and Pro-Life Action Ministries (where he was also president). Tom and Nancy were involved with Voice of the Martyrs, hosting Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand in their home. They became members of Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel in 2005 and have enjoyed the fellowship and teaching in this community that combines their love of God and country. Active into his 90’s, Tom continued to treat patients, host family gatherings and perform in musical ensembles. In recent years he rekindled a gardening hobby building his own “Victory Garden” inspired by his mother’s WW2 garden. We will celebrate the life of Dr. Tom Tjornhom on July 1, 11am, with a service at Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel, preceded by a visitation starting there at 10:30am. Reception will follow in the Page Room at the Boy Scout Base Camp. “Music is the medicine.” -- Dr. T. N. Tjornhom “It's so fun to know that you are not alone out there, you have this heavenly Father who will watch you, and take care of you and listen to you, and it’s not just pie in the sky, it’s for real. The fact that God is real and that He sent his son to pay for our sins and that we are forgiven, and we are blessed, and the answers for the problems in life are right at your hands, all you have to do is turn to him, pray and watch and see the miracles take place. It’s absolutely fantastic!” https://youtu.be/AfwxsJWs3BA --Tom Tjornhom June 4, 2021 .
Thomas Nelson Tjornhom, D.C., age 92, passed away peacefully at the Veterans Hospital in Minneapolis on May 1, 2022. Survived by his wife, Nancy, of 67 years; daughters Lisa (Randy) Roehl of Burnsville, MN, and Sarah (Scott) Reid of St. Paul,... View Obituary & Service Information
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