Thomas L. Mai was born March 22, 1948, the son of Robert and Mary (Cronin) Mai at Le Mars. He was raised on a farm near Remsen, where he went to school, graduating from St. Mary's High School in 1966.
While growing up he played on a basketball team with his brother and also played baseball. He loved the outdoors, hunting, trapping, fishing, gardening and golfing.
He attended Westmar College in Le Mars. He worked at Wells' Blue Bunny, sold life insurance, and was sales manager of several stores including Woolco and Shopko which brought him to Aberdeen, S.D.
Tom married Kathy Hanlon May 12, 1989, in Aberdeen.
Tom managed the Shopko store until 1998, when he opened Office Max in Aberdeen, and was manager until his death.
Tom was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Aberdeen. He loved reading God's Word.
Tom had an insatiable spirit and will to live a full life with his family. He lit up when he talked to his older grandchildren, Jamie, Michaela, and Monika about their schooling and enjoyed playing basketball and poker with them when they would visit every summer. His fourth grandchild Noah touched him in ways that were indescribable. They played together daily. They would light up when they saw each other. Papa was a shining star to Noah. He loved playing with Teagan, his sweet fifth grandchild, and getting to know her personality.
Kristel and Josh spent many quality moments going to movies with their Dad. Kristel always made his favorite things to eat -- ginger snaps and stuffed green peppers. Josh loved watching sports with his dad. Every year they watched the Super Bowl together, except when Josh was in the Marines. They loved talking about baseball and Notre Dame football and enjoyed discovering and tasting new beers. Josh learned from his father the value of money and a good work ethic.
Tom spent his life telling stories about growing up on the farm. Tom was great at repairing and building things and enjoyed learning new things. He collected Budweiser mugs and Terry Redlin prints. He recently became a 25 gallon blood donor.
Tom loved spending time at Christmas with family and friends. He enjoyed the MAI saur braten family tradition, topped off with sour cream raisin pie.
Grateful for having shared Tom's life are his wife, Kathy; daughter, Kristel (Mike) Ingalls, Sioux City; son, Josh Hoerth, Aberdeen, S.D.; his parents, Robert and Mary (Cronin) Mai, Remsen; five grandchildren, Jamie stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, Michaela and Monika, Sioux City, Noah and Teagan, Aberdeen; three brothers, Jim (Donna) Mai, of Struble, Paul (Patricia) Mai, of Alton, and John (Sherrie) Mai, of Struble; three sisters, Carol (Robert) Hardy, of Harrisburg, S.D., Mary (Monte) Konopasek, of Le Mars, and Judy (Randy) Aldrich, of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and 22 nieces and nephews and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Aberdeen.
Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Aberdeen. Visitation will be 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, with a wake and rosary service at 7 p.m. at Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home, 1111 S. Main St., in Aberdeen.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.spitzerfuneralhome.com.