VERONA - Thomas Allan Gering, age 79, passed away on February 1, 2013 after courageous battles with Leukemia and lung disease. Tom was born November 29, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Albert and Marie (Steinke) Gering. He graduated in 1952 from North Division High School in Milwaukee and delivered his class graduation speech. His school classmates voted him Prom King and President of the Senior Class, Student Council and Booster Boys. Additionally, Tom served as captain of the football team, playing quarterback, safety and linebacker. Tom earned a Pre-Theology Ministerial Associate Degree from Concordia College and furthered his education with a Psychology Degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he was a student leader at Calvary Lutheran Chapel. He initiated teaching ballroom dance as the first UW-Madison Mini Course which has expanded and is thriving today. Through ballroom dancing at "Young Adult Club" (YAC) in 1960, Tom met his future bride, Joan Argue. They married in Madison on October 21, 1961 and raised three children. Professionally, Tom worked for the Social Security Administration for 30 years before retiring. His career began in the Chicago area, and led to the Lancaster, Wisconsin office where he served as Manager. Later, he relocated his family to Verona, Wisconsin and worked in the Madison office. Throughout his career, he conducted more than 20,000 interviews. After retirement, Tom enjoyed teaching college-level psychology courses for 12 semesters at Herzing College and a retirement planning course at Madison Area Technical College for 15 years. Because of his genuine interest in people, Tom could carry on a meaningful conversation with anyone and encourage them to talk about themselves. He has served in various leadership roles within the community, clubs and church. Tom was known for telling jokes, as well as portraying Benjamin Franklin. As an avid reader, Tom was a frequent patron of libraries. He also had a personal collection of thousands of books. Tom loved spending time with his family and took great pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. He was a loving husband, devoted father, and cherished grandfather. His passing leaves a void in the lives of many. He will be deeply missed by those whose lives he touched.
Tom is survived by his wife Joan (Argue) Gering; and their children: Dawn (Randy) Dorning; Diana (Les) Howles; and David (Heidi) Gering; and seven grandchildren: Jacob and Caleb Dorning; Karra Howles; and Kailey, Kendra, Keegan and Korbin Gering.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Agrace HospiceCare and Dean Care for their exemplary care. A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at Salem United Church of Christ, 502 Mark Drive, Verona, Wisconsin. Visitation will be held at the church from 9-10:45 AM. A luncheon will follow the service.
Memorials may be made to the Verona Public Library.