Thomas Michael McNeer

Thomas Michael “Tom” McNeer, 60, of Newton, died Thursday, December 20, 2018 at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, after a lingering illness.  A funeral Mass will be Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Newton at 2:30 p.m.  The family will greet friends from 1:00 p.m. until service time Wednesday at the church.  Following interment at the Sacred Heart Cemetery, a coffee time will be served at the McCann Center.  

Memorials may be designated to St. Jude Children's Hospital.

Tom was born July 23, 1958 in Newton, Iowa to John and Mary McNeer.  He graduated from Newton High School I 1976 and attended Central College in Pella.  A lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus, Tom served as their District Insurance Agent for several years, and was Grand Knight of Council #2663 in 1987 and 1988.  Throughout his life he was known as a friendly, unselfish person, open minded, with a ready smile, always willing to lend a helping hand.  He was a great example of “Tenacity under Adversity”.

Tom’s physical problems began at the age of 13, with Hodgkin’s Disease, characterized by inflammation and enlargement of the lymph nodes throughout his body.  Radical surgery, with six weeks of severe radiation followed.  Periodic Hospital trips took place the rest of his life, with physical problems too numerous to mention.  The University Hospital became somewhat of a second home to Tom for nearly 50 years.

During a special 57th Birthday Celebration for Tom, his extended family came up with a variety of compliments to describe this “One-of-a-kind” brother, father, uncle and friend.  One sincere tribute to be remembered was “Underneath this somewhat rough façade, Tom is a soft hearted ‘Teddy Bear’ who cares deeply for others and would give away his last dime if needed.”  Some of the joys of Tom’s life were a love for music, riding bicycles, building models and his friends.

“Applied with Pride” was Tom’s Paint Contracting business for most of his adult life.  His friends and family knew him as “Tom the Painter – the best since Michelangelo”.  He will be deeply missed by many who knew him so well.

Tom is survived by his son, Joshua (wife Brittany), his father, John, brothers, David (wife Sandra) and Michael (wife Shelley), his best friend, Robin McDermott, and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his loving mother, Mary, on July 19, 2002, who continues to look down from heaven on her family and friends with a loving tender smile.