Thomas Reis

  • Born: August 5, 1951
  • Died: November 6, 2019
  • Location: Ankeny, Iowa

Memorial Services of Iowa

4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
Tel. (515) 964-0592

Tribute & Message From The Family

Thomas Gene Reis passed away on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at the age of 68. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Ankeny Memorial Gardens Cemetery(4208 N Ankeny Blvd).
He was born on August 5, 1951, the first child of Richard Arlen and Fumiyo Morita Reis on the U.S. Air Force base in Tokyo, Japan. As a "military brat," he, and later his sisters, Susan and Deborah, lived in several locations, including Sampson Air Base in New York; Salix, Iowa; St. John's, Newfoundland; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, before finally settling down in Richard's hometown, Denison, Iowa.
Tom graduated from high school in 1969, and went on to close down two Midwestern colleges (Midwestern in Denison, and Parson's College in Fairfield) by attending them briefly, before managing to graduate with a business degree from Dana College in Blair, Nebraska around 1974.
After graduation, he worked his way up the management ladder at several retail stores in Nebraska, Montana; and finally Rawlins, Wyoming, where he met Gari (Cookie) Gemelli, and her young daughter, Kenya. Tom and Cookie married and raised Kenya and their son, Michael, born in 1977.
Tom and Cookie later divorced, but Tom remained in Rawlins for more than three decades, working at retail stores, as a volunteer fireman, and, for around 20 years, at the gas company Kinder Morgan. He advanced during his career with the public utility, starting from working as a technician to finally managing a large installation project of new technical equipment for the company.
In 2008, he retired from his job and moved back to Iowa to be geographically closer to his family. He bought a house in Ankeny and moved his mother in with him to help her after she was diagnosed with dementia. Later, when she moved to Sunny View Care Center, Tom visited her nearly every day until her death in 2018.
Tom was very close to and involved in the lives of his grandson, Joseph Reis, and his parents, Elizabeth and Frank Hampton; as well as sister Deb and brother-in-law Mike Gruca, and their sons, Justin (and his wife, Heidi and sons Benjamin and Fred) and Nathaniel in the Des Moines area; and his sister Sue in Belleville, Wisconsin. Tom also loved his many dogs that he owned throughout his life. He routinely kept his house cool all year long and liked to describe the nighttime temperature in terms of how many dogs were piled on him in bed. The ashes of many of his past furry friends sat atop his fireplace mantle, and now join his own in his final resting place at Ankeny Memorial Gardens.
Tom held a part-time job with Walgreen's in Ankeny for a few years, before moving to a job at The Home Depot, a company he greatly appreciated and admired for the way it's managed, but especially for the way they treat their employees with respect and kindness. There he worked in the store and later on the Met team, until his death in 2019.
Tom had a tender heart and an impish sense of humor that accompanied him everywhere he went. His friendly nature touched everyone he came in contact with and he will be terribly missed by his many friends and loving family.

Condolence & Memory Journal

You will be greatly missed Tom especially loved traveling with you to all the sports games in Rawlins R.I.P

Posted by Aaron Moore - Cheyenne, WY - Friend   November 10, 2019

My sympathies to Tom's family and friends. I've known Tom for a few decades by way of Deb and Mike's marriage. I always appreciated when Tom could make any family gatherings as he was easy to converse with and always had a good story to tell. He will be missed by all.

Posted by Mark Gruca - Family Friend   November 09, 2019

Uncle Tom is a delightful man. He welcomed us into the family as if we had known him for years. He has always been a special person to our grandsons, their great uncle. We will miss him. May God's love and fond memories comfort you all at this sad time. Hugs, Ray and Rosi

Posted by Rosemary Klemmensen - Cedar Falls, IA - Friend   November 09, 2019

Tommy you will be missed by many especially the way you always pick on people like you did just to get them to smile. Rip until we meet again love ya buddy. Your no longer in pain and with all you loving animals.

Posted by Robyn Wolters - Des Moines, IA - Coworker   November 08, 2019

What a remarkable amazing man. Always knew how to put a smile on anyones face. I will miss that sense of humor of his everyday! You will definitely be missed by your Home Depot family! My condolences to Joe and Heavenly along with the rest of the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Posted by Danielle Houghton - Des Moines, IA - Coworker   November 08, 2019

Larry and I are so sorry
We will be at funeral tomortow

Posted by Ruby Purcell - Ft dodge, IA - Family   November 08, 2019

Will miss you Tommy

Posted by Georgia and Ed Wright - Ankeny, IA   November 08, 2019

My name is Kevin Fineran. Tom and I graduated from HS together. We were good friends and shared many good times that I will never forget! Tom had a big heart and treated everyone with respect. He has always had a special place in my heart. I am so sorry to hear of his passing, and his family has my wife and my condolences. I know he will be missed.

Posted by Kevin Fineran - Denison, IA - Friend   November 07, 2019

My dear friend Tom Tom,
I will forever miss your laugh, sense of humor, smart mouth but most importantly, the way you cared about your family and friends. I will always love you my crazy old man.

Posted by Juanita Campos - Des Moines, IA   November 07, 2019