Feely, Thomas Anthony, age 90. Tom, “Papa Tom” was born May 3, 1929 at home on his family farm on the Rathdrum Prairie to Charles W. and Jessie B. Feely. Tom passed away quietly on May 25, 2019 at his home on Coeur d’Alene Lake of 63 years surrounded by immediate family.
Tom attended grade school at the Valley School District #20 on Prairie Ave in Post Falls, Idaho. He graduated from Rathdrum High School, Rathdrum, Idaho in 1947 and then attended Lewis and Clark College in Lewiston Idaho for 2 1/2 years. Tom dropped out of college when he got his draft notice. After several weeks of paperwork for Uncle Sam, selling his car and moving his possessions home to his parents, he was all but shipped out. The day before he was to leave, Tom walked through a barn; allergies and hay fever took over! The next day, before he even stepped on the bus to be shipped out to basic training, Tom got his discharge papers.
Instead of returning to college in 1950, Tom started working for Bus-Boom-Rah Construction in Coeur d’Alene, who contracted him out to Bonneville Power constructing footings for transmission power lines from Clinton, Montana to Mead, Washington. He also found employment with the Coeur d’Alene Bureau of Public Roads, BLM, Coeur d’Alene Highway District #1, and then struck out on his own as an independent custom home builder. Tired of working for himself, he found employment with the Coeur d’Alene School District #271 as head of the maintenance department and 21 years later retired full time in 1991. Tom was considered a master craftsman by his entire family and community. As one niece said, “Papa Tom can fix anything!”
Tom continued to stay in touch with his community and was an elected Commissioner for the Worley Highway District for 18 1/2 years. Tom was a member of the Elks, Eagles and a Mica Flats Grange Member for over 40 years.
Tom met the love of his life Louise Evelyn Mooney at a friend’s wedding reception held at the Mica Flats Grange Hall in 1950 and invited her that same day to go on a date to see the Ice Capades. After four years of dating, they married June 5, 1954 at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Coeur d’Alene Idaho. Tom and Louise would have been married 65 years this June 5, 2019.
Tom is survived by his wife Louise and their two daughters, Corinne Johnson, Catherine Jones (Griff), and foster son Bill Johnson (JoAnn), beloved nephew Chris Feely (Yvonne), 9 grandchildren and 5 (soon to be six) great-grandchildren, as well as many other loved nieces, nephews and life-long friends and neighbors. Tom was preceded in death of his first-born son Michael Thomas Feely from an accident in 1989.
Loving life to the fullest, Tom never refused a family or friends’ gathering especially if food and spirits were involved. Grandkids loved Papa Tom’s jokes and dry wit. When the grandkids were able to reach and snap his suspenders, they knew Papa Tom would chase them for tickle time amid lots of laughter. The Feely home was always open to visits and even extended stay overs.
Funeral Services: A Mass will be held on Saturday June 15, 2019, 10 am at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Coeur d’Alene. A Celebration of Life will follow at the Mica Flats Grange Hall from 12:00 - 3:00 pm, lunch provided.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: Mica Flats Grange Scholarship Fund 7465 Kidd Island Road, CDA ID 83814