Thomas H. Netherton Jr., age 70, passed away on Jan. 7, 2018 at the VA Hospital in Nashville, TN after contracting the flu which turned into pneumonia and ultimately took his life.
Tom was born Jan. 11, 1947 in Munich, Germany to Major Thomas H. Netherton, Sr. and Lillian Christensen Netherton and grew up in Bloomington, MN where his family eventually settled following his father’s retirement from the Army.
Tom Jr. enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era and went through Basic Training at Ft. Bliss, TX. He was awarded the Outstanding Trainee of the Cycle as well as the Spirit of Honor Medal for outstanding leadership which is given to one man in the Brigade.
Upon completion of Advanced Infantry Training Tom was accepted into Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Ft. Benning, GA. After a grueling and arduous 12 weeks Tom was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and was then sent to Panama where he served as Commander of the 1542 Infantry Unit, eventually achieving the rank of 1st Lieutenant. While stationed in Panama, Tom frequently sang for the troops and was broadcast over the Army’s non-military radio network, Voice of America.
After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army, Tom followed his passion for music and began his singing career. His extraordinary singing ability lead to an audition with Lawrence Welk. That audition turned into a long run on the Lawrence Welk Show, as well as a successful singing/recording career in the Christian Music industry which included 13 record albums and a published autobiography entitled “In the Morning of My Life”. He developed a significant and loyal fan base which exists to this day and has been characterized by many of the Welk family members as one of their most beloved stars.
Tom is survived by his mother, Lillian Netherton, brother Brad (Paula) Netherton, sisters Julie (Bruce) Kobielush and Wendy Siebold .
Those who knew Tom celebrate the countless personal memories of his wit, infectious sense of humor, and generosity. He was a man who lived life to the fullest; a man of deep Christian faith who is now in the presence of eternal peace.
In lieu of flowers please send cards to Lillian Netherton, P.O. Box 351, Rogers, MN 55374
“My life counted because it belonged to the Lord Jesus Christ: every moment and every part of it. That is what gave me true identity.” Tom Netherton