June 26, 1930 - July 2, 2012
Thomas Richard "Tom" Munck, Athena, passed away July 2, 2012, at the Walla Walla General Hospital at the age of 82 years. Memorial Mass will be Monday, July 9, 2012, at noon at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Athena. Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be Sunday, July 8, 2012, at 5 p.m., at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Athena. Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Community College Foundation or the Weston-McEwen Pipes and Drum through the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.
Thomas Richard Munck was born to Oscar Munck and Anna Olsen Munck on June 26, 1930, in Orofino, Idaho, the third of six children. Tom delivered newspapers, set bowling pins, and dove for tools dropped from the bridge by construction workers for a dime. Taking advice from his older brother, Elvin, he flapped his wings and flew from the barn's hay loft to the rocks below. Tom played football and boxed for the Orofino Maniacs. He married his high school sweetheart, Doreen Bates, on Sept. 4, 1950.
Tom attended Northern Idaho College of Education, Eastern Washington University and Washington State University. He taught high school English, math and Spanish for four years in Culdesac, Idaho, then moved to Athena, where he taught at McEwen High School for nine years.
He taught English at Blue Mountain Community College for 25 years. Tom enjoyed announcing for the Weston-McEwen Pipes and Drums and at Caledonian Tatoos. His Scottish brogue was well known. He encouraged everyone to "eat dessert first: life is uncertain." Tom enjoyed traveling with family and Good Sams, fishing, hunting and attending his grandchildren's sporting events. He used his accidently shortened index finger to pretend to have that finger stuck up his nose. He taught himself to read and write Danish so he could correspond with his cousins in Denmark. He enjoyed family above all else and had grandchildren with him continually.
Tom and Doreen moved to Athena, in 1956. His "present wife Doreen," was determined to move to a larger city when she arrived in the small town: "Two years, max, Tom." He lived and loved being with many of you in Athena for 56 years. He served on the Athena City Council, Ambulance Board, worked summers digging ditches and installing water mains, and operated combines and elevators during wheat harvest.
He is survived by his wife, Doreen, of Athena; sisters, Wanda Head of Peck, Idaho; Myrna Ely of Pierce, Idaho; sons, Gordon Munck (Miriam) of Pendleton, Gary Munck (Debra) of Athena; daughters, Martha Munkers (Gary) of Lexington, Ore., and Gayle Hoeft (Cliff) of Pilot Rock; eight grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Tom was preceded in death by his mother, Anna; father, Oscar; stepfather, Jake; brothers, Elvin and Ernest Lee; sister, Anna Lee; and grandson, Christopher.