Thomas DeGroat, age 79, of Olivia, MN died on Saturday, January 8, 2022 at his home. Funeral services will be on Monday, January 17, at 11:00 a.m. at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Olivia with Pastor Paul McCullough officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Monday. Burial will be on Tuesday, January 18, at 11:00 a.m. at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls, MN (15550 Hwy 115, Little Falls, MN 56345).

Thomas Arlen DeGroat was born on July 22, 1942 to Alfred and Gertrude (Lindsay) DeGroat in Renville, MN. Tom served his country in the Marine Corps from 1959 to 1965. He worked as a diesel and millwright mechanic, and for Green Giant also. Tom lived in both California and the Twin Cities for work before returning to Renville County. Thomas was united in marriage to Alma De La Garza on July 22, 2004 and they made their home in Olivia. Tom enjoyed gardening alongside Alma. Together they planted all sorts of peppers, potatoes, asparagus, and many other fruits and vegetables that they shared with neighbors and loved ones. One of his favorite hobbies was horseback riding; he would go on trail rides with family and friends. He had many horses but one of his favorites was Sasha. Tom was generous with his time and was willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. Whether it was helping fix cars and lawn mowers or rewiring trailer lights, Tom was always available. He fixed many bicycles for children in his neighborhood as well; he gifted a pink bike with a basket and tassels as well as a yellow motorcycle bike to his stepchildren. Tom had a big heart and cared for those he loved. He taught his stepchildren many important lessons such as being prepared for any situation, checking fluid levels in their cars, and how to bait a hook. His beloved dog, Toby, brought him much joy. Tom will be remembered for his great sense of humor, positive outlook, and patience.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Alma DeGroat of Olivia; his stepchildren, Arnold Moreno De La Garza, Ana Karenn Moreno De La Garza, Magda Moreno, Azucena Hernandez, and Mario Moreno; his sisters, Bernadine and Sandy; his furry friend, Toby; biological children: Terri, Denise, and Tommy; and many other relatives and friends. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Gertrude; his brother, Raymond; and his sister, Joann.

Blessed Be His Memory

Dirks-Blem Funeral Service, Olivia, MN