Thomas Heirigs

Tom Heirigs, age 66, of Madison, passed away Sunday, August 16th at the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls with his family by his side.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM on Monday, August 24th at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Madison. Visitation will be 1-7 PM on Sunday at the church with a prayer service at 7 PM. It is requested that all in attendance wear face masks and comply with the COVID barriers and procedures at the church. Burial will be in St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery, near Turkey Ridge, SD.

Arrangements are entrusted with Rustand-Weiland Funeral Chapel. Online condolences can be sent at The funeral Mass will be livestreamed on Rustand-Weiland Funeral Chapel Facebook page and link will be added to our website.

Thomas Allen Heirigs was born February 10, 1954 in Yankton, SD to Donald and Rosemary (Logsdon) Heirigs. He graduated from Hurley High School in 1972 and he continued his education at SDSU from 1972-77. While in college, he met Sheryl Holsether and they were married June 7, 1975 at St. Boniface Idlywilde Catholic Church.

In 1977, Tom received his Bachelor of Science degree and eventually his Master of Science degree in 1979 while at SDSU. In the fall of 1980, he attended Kansas State University enrolled in the Veterinarian program and graduated in 1984.

After graduation, Tom and Sheryl moved to Madison and Tom began working at Lake Vet Clinic. In November 1996, they opened the Twin Lakes Animal Clinic and acquired the Howard Animal Clinic. In January 2020, Dave Maier, DVM and Brooke Braskamp, DVM, who both worked with Tom for many years, recently joined him as partners to run the clinics together.

Tom loved to be a veterinarian. It was what he fought so hard to achieve and everyone could tell by his drive to go help his friends, neighbors and community when they called requesting help with their animals. He took pride in his work, and that every day was a challenge or opportunity to help another person. He considered his clients as friends.

He also attended several conferences around the region as an opportunity to travel and see his classmates, especially the Interstate Veterinary Meeting in Sioux City. He enjoyed getting in his pickup and traveling to the farms across the region and stated that he did his best thinking when driving to farm calls. It was his time to himself.

In 2007, Tom along with his family purchased and restored the Washington Elementary School into apartments. He enjoyed making the building feel like a home and a community. It was important to him to maintain the building and landscape himself, which he saw as another opportunity to develop friendships with the residents.

Tom had several side hobbies that he was always striving to perfect. Tom attended several classic car shows across the region with his two 1973 Mustangs, with his friend Marv Eich. He won many awards and attributed that to his pride on how clean the car looked that day. He loved the friendships that were developed with other car enthusiasts and constantly asking others about their cars.

Tom was an active volunteer in everything he did, he loved giving his time to several organizations and activities including Lake County 4-H, fundraising as the chairman for the parade of champions, or being the on-the-spot veterinarian for kids at the state fair. He loved helping the kids especially with 4-H pets.

He was a member at the Madison Country Club and enjoyed numerous golf outings with friends and members of the community. He was a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He inherited the job of cooking at the 4-H Achievement Days, Pork Producers and countless fundraisers across the area.

Tom's passion for cooking showed on the faces of those in attendance and he received requests for him to cook at many weddings, birthday parties, reunions, church auctions, fundraisers, the Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day with his friend DeLon Mork and other gatherings. He would spend most of his time watching cooking shows, always asking the local restaurants for their recipes, and practicing at home with his family and friends.

Tom did everything in a big way, it had to have purpose, it had to be done right and for the right reason; to help people.

He loved spending time with his family, everywhere Tom went, his wife Sheryl was by his side. He had numerous pets including cats and dogs at home. His favorite was a dog named Berkley, who was always by his side. He loved traveling with his family and some of his favorite places to visit included San Diego, New Orleans, Alaska, Manhattan, KS and the Black Hills. He believed that with every trip, K-State Football game, car show, cooking request or life adventure, he wanted her there.

Tom lived each day with enthusiasm, and a drive to keep going. Tom would always say, "Success was surrounding yourself with the right people," and to him that was his friends, family, and the community.

Tom is survived by his wife, Sheryl of Madison; son, Matthew (Beth Gibson) and children Madison and Christian of Kansas City, MO; son, Dan of Sioux Falls; his "bonus" family, Sam and Natae Johnson and their daughters, Mila and Koralei of Madison; five siblings, Donna Kennedy of Sacramento, CA, Steve (Tammy) of Burbank, SD, Carol (Mike) Francis of Flagstaff, AZ, Pat (Linda) of Turkey Ridge, SD and Mary Kay (Rodney) Berg of Williston, ND; five aunts, Mary Albrecht of Yankton, Sister Pat Heirigs of Yankton and Elaine Heirigs of Viborg, SD, aunt Jane Heirigs of Larchwood, IA, Norma Walters of Colorado; one uncle Dale Schooley; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Rosemary Heirigs; his son, John Carl Heirigs (1986); and his father- and mother-in-law, Carl and Elsie Holsether.

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