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Thomas Varilek

Obit-VarilekThomas Raymond Varilek was born to Frank H. and Tillie (Plavec) Varilek on October 25, 1949 in Tyndall, SD. His schooling began in a one-room schoolhouse, Dunwoody District #23. He graduated Tyndall High School in the class of ‘67. In 1971, he achieved his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Tom began his professional career at Pacific Gas and Electric Company in San Francisco, CA where he met the love of his life, Dina (Albon). They married on December 2, 1972. Tom was an unselfish and devoted family man. In 1974, they moved to Duluth, MN, where Tom worked at Minnesota Power & Light. In 1987, Tom, his wife and their three daughters moved to Ankeny, IA where he worked for Iowa Power and, eventually, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation until his retirement in 2010.

Tom had diverse hobbies which included singing, ballroom dancing, Huna healing and hypnotherapy. Tom was driven to help and heal all he could in the world. He served as President of St. Vincent de Paul – Des Moines diocese from 2008 until his untimely death. Some of Tom’s other community involvements included Physics Society, Engineers Club, Kirkendall Public Library Foundation, Social Concern Committee – St. Luke’s, National Guild of Hypnotists, and being an officer for ballroom dance clubs: Red Friars, Castle Club and Dance Club 76.

Tom passed away on Monday, February 25, 2013 at the age of 63.

Tom is survived by his wife, Dina and his three daughters, Tara, Tanya and Tylia; his siblings Francis Varilek and Sally Boyd of Mission Hill, Daniel Varilek of Tyndall,SD, JoAnn (John) Jonas of Yankton, SD, Irene Koranda of Tabor, SD, David Varilek of Tabor, SD, Charles (Julie) Varilek of Estes Park, CO, and Kenneth (Jeanne) Varilek of Springfield, SD; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial for Tom Varilek was held on Saturday, March 2 at St. Leo Catholic Church with Fr. Joe Forcelle as Celebrant. Interment followed in St. Leo Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you donate to NAMI Greater Des Moines, PO Box 12174, Des Moines, IA 50312 in Tom’s name. Online condolences may be sent at

A celebration of his life is being planned in the Des Moines area. For details to this event email:

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