Thomas Van Raden

thomas van raden
Tom service will be livestreamed below starting at 4:00 PM Wednesday September 8, 2021
Thomas James Van Raden, Fargo North Dakota peacefully passed from this life into the care of his creator on August 21, 2021. Tom was born in Fargo ND moments after his twin brother Tim on September 3, 1953, to Roy and Alice Van Raden. Tom was educated in Moorhead Public schools graduating in 1972. He was a proud member of the 1971 Spud football team which won the Minnesota State Championship. He attended Moorhead State College after which he joined the family business and served in a variety of roles. Known as engaging, warm, and generous, his magnanimity extended to causes he felt called to support. His love for nature and animals was evident in his joy and support for the Red River Zoo. His flower gardens at his homes were a sight to behold. Tom lived large and had many friends from all walks of life. He will be missed. Tom believed in the promise of everlasting life. Along with his friends, he leaves behind his brothers Robert, Roger (Sandy) and Tim (Erna) as well as sisters Linda (Bill) Schulte and Mary (Doug) Ash; Connie Johnson his long time friend and was his caregiver when he passed away ;and many nieces and nephews. A visitation will take place from 3:30-4:00 PM following a celebration of life service at 4:00 PM Wednesday September 8, 2021 at Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Hospice of the Red River Valley for the great care they gave Thomas.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Tom was a wonderful friend. He had a heart of gold. He was so kind to so many people. Kathryn and I will miss him dearly.

  2. Tom – classmate and friend. He was so kind and caring to so many in his life. Back in the days of the Eastgate he hired our band and it was the greatest ! We will miss his smile and sense of humor. And to Tim and the family- heartfelt sympathy! Words cannot express.

  3. Sad to hear that Tom passed. We used to be good friends. I didn’t see much of him the last few years but talked on the phone quite often. Tom was a very generous person. He loved the zoo and animals. My condolences to Roger and Bob and the family. He will be missed.

  4. I will miss you, Tom. After nearly a 40 year friendship, I will miss the photo outings, conservation meetings, lunches, and the kind of humor you brought to conversations. Even in your last days filled with discomfort, you were thinking of others. I appreciate everything you did for me though the years, and most of all your company. Thanks for the memories mate, and I will never forget you.

    Roger, Sandy, Sarah, and AC, I am sorry for your loss. May your grief be filled with the memories of a brother/uncle that spoke well of you all, so often.

  5. Tom will be greatly missed by Todd and myself.
    He was such a caring and compassionate friend and had a fun personality.
    Sending healing thoughts and prayers to his family and his many friends that he has left behind that everyone finds comfort in the memories.

  6. Rest in peace Tom. You have been my best friend for over 30 years. I will miss you phone calls every week and our visits when I come to Fargo. I am so glad we spent your last week’s together and I was honored to be your Caregiver along with Hospice of the Red River Valley. You got the best care possible and you were surrounded by friends and family that loved you, see you again some day. Love you Tom

  7. Tom was a good guy. I am sorry for you loss. He will be missed by many. Way to soon. Pease be with his family and all that knew him.

  8. My deepest condolences go out to Tom’s friends, family and his loved ones. I have shared so many laughs with Tom. He truly was one of the most generous people I have ever had the pleasure of my friend

  9. I’ve bumped into and shot the bull with Tom on many occassions. He was always a nice guy, and a joker. I remember him showing an apartment while I walked in with a bag of groceries. He asked me “what’s in the bag” I replied “chicken”. He looked at me and said “when’s dinner”. Rest in Peace Tom.

  10. I will miss our regular “grocery store” chats where many of the world’s problems were fully discussed, if not solved, while other customers had to navigate around us. Thank you for those good times. Rest peacefully, Tom.

  11. Uncle Tommy when I was very young you gave me a stuffed lion that was almost as big as me. You were always kind and had the best smile. You were so sweet and loving. I love you so much and I will always miss you.

  12. Tom was amazing. He helped me tremendously in my life. Always showed me the utmost respect. Your reward will be great in heaven. Krissy

  13. I love this photo of Tom. It is exactly how I will always remember him, happy smiling eyes and ready for a chat. Tom will be greatly missed at the zoo. He had a vision for the zoo and was one of our strongest advocates.

    I am lucky to have gotten to know Tom professionally and even luckier to have had his friendship. He was a down to earth dreamer with a big heart for everyone he met.

    Sending much love to all of his family and friends.

  14. Mary and I worked for Tom in the early 90s as resident managers. Tom was a good man. He treated us with dignity and respect.

  15. Rest in peace cousin Tommy.  I will miss chatting with you about photography,  flowers, and our memories of grandpa & grandma Schmidt. Your positive attitude over this last year was nothing short of amazing. I am grateful for the visits we spent together. You told me you were going to miss looking at your flower beds. Well, now you have the best view of all. I will miss you.

  16. Uncle Tom was such a loving and giving person. He always had something funny to say. I’m sure going to miss not having Uncle Tom over for the holidays. I’m so thankful your last days were comfortable and peaceful. Thanks to Connie and Hospice your last days were at home getting to see your loved ones. Uncle Tom will be greatly missed but never forgotten 💕

  17. HI Tom, say hi to mom and dad now that you ae with them. Tell them both that I LOVE and miss them. Your twin Tim

  18. Brother Tom. You sure will be missed. I think of you and I cry both for you and for me. My tears for me are of sadness because I didn’t make it home before you died but I know you just couldn’t stay any longer. My tears for you are tears of gladness because I know you are at peace now and are with Mom and Dad. Your dignity over this last year was amazing. Don’t think I could have done it. You always looked towards the future and had a joke to tell and a smile, until God wanted you home and you prepared for that with the many visitors you had. Sorry I wasn’t able to make it back to Fargo. I tried. I love you and will miss you always. Your sister, Mary.

  19. Tom was one of the best friends I ever had. Around 16 years of friendship. He was a great, caring, and genuine man and a rare gem. I will miss seeing him everytime I’d go home to Fargo. I will cherish all the great times, memories, and many laughs. Rest in heaven, my friend. 🙏❤

  20. Uncle Tommy. Today is the day we celebrate your life on this Earth. I tried so hard to get to Fargo on time to tell you my goodbye in person. For reason’s God only knows I didn’t quite make it in time. I was scheduled to fly out the morning you passed. I know you were ready to go and I think God wanted me to remember the memories of you being healthy. I’m so happy you are no longer in pain. You fought pancreatic cancer like a champ, always thinking of everyone else. I have read all the guest book entries here and they brought me to tears. You were so loved by so many people. You touched so many lives. I will never forget the Summer’s I came to Fargo to visit when you would always take just me to lunch and buy me something special. Those were very special times that I always looked forward to and will treasure always. I wish I could be there today in person but I will be watching from Idaho. RIP my Uncle. I love you.

    Your Niece,
    Michelle Nees ❤️

  21. Tom was like a brother to me. My parents truly enjoyed him and he them. He was a great help to me as I went through a couple of trying things in my life and I greatly appreciate him for being there. I truly miss our calls during them week. Thank you for all that you’ve done for me. You were a great guy.

  22. Tom was truly a loyal friend for over 60 years. We had a lot of good times and adventures together during that time and I am going to miss him more than I can say. I know we will see each other again someday.

  23. I only had the pleasure of knowing Tom for 4 years but I believe everybody’s paths cross for a reason. Tom was one of the most humble, kind and caring gentleman that I’ve met. He always showed true compassion towards others. I do also remember his corky humor and The photograph of Tom is spot on, just like I remember him.

  24. It has been several years since seeing Tom but he was always so nice, fun, and just overall a nice person to talk with. As a resident manager at Campus Air Apartment, Tom was always there for questions, ideas and directions on how to do X, Y or Z.
    Thoughts and Prayers to the family.
    Shannon Ehlers

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