Tom was born on Feb. 14, 1950, in Newton, the son of Walter and Marilynn Lehr Collier. He graduated from Newton High School in 1968.
He married Mary Wetschensky on Nov. 11, 1972, in Newton. Together, they owned and operated the Good Earth General Store in Newton from 1977 until 1994.
Tom worked at Prestressed Concrete in Newton as a chief draftsman and CAD designer for 38 years, retiring in 2012. He was a founding member of the Chisholm Trail Festival, serving on the Board of Directors for several years. He was a former member of the Newton Lion’s Club, having served as a leader and club president. He was awarded the Melvin Jones Award.
Tom had a love of motorcycles and computers, he was a member of the MAC Wichita Club. He hosted the Newton Railers Class of ’68 website, which helped keep all of his peers rockin’ and rollin’. Tom was the driving force behind many of his class reunions. He enjoyed being an active member of The Tuesday Lunch Gang aka TALKO.
Tom was the beloved husband to Mary; brother to Beth (Gary) Wonders; uncle to Shawn and Michael Wetschensky, Brian (Missy) Wonders and Jeff Wonders, Taylor and Walker Farnham; great-uncle to Keaton Wetschensky, Lauren and Landry Wonders; son-in-law to Ethel Wetschensky; brother-in-law to Sandy Garred (Duane Farnham) and Susie Garred; and was a kind and generous friend to many.
A celebration of Tom’s life will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, at the American Legion Post in Newton. A strict dress code will be enforced and NO ties are allowed.
Tom was known for his incredible wit, his huge heart and his love of live. “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”
In lieu of flowers a memorial have been established with KPTS Channel 8 in Wichita and the Newton Public Library, and contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E. Broadway, Newton, KS 67114.