January 11, 2023 at 5:41 p.m.

Thomas A. Marthaler

Thomas A. Marthaler
Thomas A. Marthaler


Thomas (Tom) Allen Marthaler, age 74 of Plymouth, passed away peacefully at home with his daughters by his side on Jan. 3, 2023.  Tom was one of four sons born to Elaine (Knaak) and Vincent Marthaler, on May 18, 1948, in the same house as his mother in Long Prairie.

Tom’s childhood included spending considerable time with family and often included work.  Tom’s strong work ethic and desire to help people started at a young age.  Painting houses, mowing lawns, working in the pickle fields and selling agates were among some of Tom’s first jobs.  And who could forget the bowling alley?  Managing the bowling alley in Sauk Centre as just a senior in high school opened the door for Tom’s 44-year career at CenterPoint Energy (formerly Minnesota Natural Gas and Minnegasco).  Tom traveled throughout Minnesota maintaining and installing bowling alleys.  He learned how to manage finances, provide quality customer service and work long hours.

After graduating from Sauk Centre High School in 1966, Tom enrolled in the Army Reserve and went to basic training.  He came home from basic training working at Kraft Foods, Culligan and as an emergency responder.  He then settled into his life-long career with CenterPoint Energy.  Tom worked in nearly every aspect of the company-service, sales, management and operations.  The most fulfilling role was managing the conversion of entire towns from propane to natural gas throughout central Minnesota in the 1970s and 1980s.  Tom was well respected and held in high regard by his colleagues.

Tom spent his retirement years doing what he loved best: spending time with and helping people.  When Tom wasn’t spending time with his four daughters, seven grandkids and dear friends, he was volunteering at Minnesota Recovery Connection.  He served as a coach, mentor and friend to many in various treatment centers and prisons while helping them see that they could live life fully in recovery. In the winter months, Tom enjoyed his time traveling throughout New Mexico and California visiting special friends and family.

Thoughtful, caring, present, compassionate, involved, resilient, loving, and attentive are all words used by Papa Tom’s grandkids to describe who he was to them.  Words demonstrating a life well-lived. Papa enjoyed his years with each of the grandkids including hiking, camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA), fishing, woodworking in the studio, and attending countless school and sporting activities.

In July 2021, Tom was diagnosed with a rare, incurable blood cancer. While this diagnosis might have slowed him down a bit, it did not change his love for life and his innate ability to be exactly the person described by his grandkids.

Tom is survived by his daughters Renee Rohde (Keith), Michele (Tom) Gonyea, Tonya Marthaler and  Angie (Greg) Berg; grandchildren Jack, Emma, Gina, Adam, Samantha, Avery and Carson; sisters-in-law Gail, Sandy and Lois; nieces and nephews Barret, Monica, Chuck, Jennifer, Brandee and Martina; and so many special friends.

Tom will reunite in heaven with his parents Vincent and Elaine; brothers Jim, Dale and Jack; and former son-in-law Joel Peterson.

Visitation and funeral services were held at Central Lutheran Church in Elk River on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.  A private scattering ceremony for Tom’s ashes will occur at a later date in the BWCA.  Memorials to Minnesota Recovery Connection ( or Grace Hospice ( are preferred.



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