Obituary: Thomas Verhelst


Thomas Charles Verhelst, age 77, of Springtown, Texas, passed away on Friday, April 29, 2022. He was born on March 22, 1945, in Moline, to Henry and Emily Verhelst. They both preceded him in death along with his wife, Jeanette (Meade) Verhelst; son “Duke” Thomas Charles Verhelst Jr.; sister and brother-in-law Dorothy and Ted Zaleski. 

Tom graduated from Moline High School and resided in Donahue, then later relocated to Irving, Texas. Early in his career he worked for Wonderbread Bakery, then went to work at International Harvester, where he was later relocated to Dallas, Texas. He retired from International with over 35 years of service. Tom then worked an additional 13 years for Southwest International Trucks in Dallas. 

He was a longtime member of the Eldridge Jaycees and held the title of “On-To” Chairman in 1980 and became later a member of the JCI Iowa Senate #30289.

Tom was a member of Riverview Freewill Baptist Church in Bettendorf, then Sherwood Park Baptist Church in Irving, Texas.

He loved working on cars; you could find him tinkering in his garage, going to the drag races, pawn shops, flea markets or a hole in the wall restaurant. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Tom leaves behind his sons, John Verhelst of Buffalo, Brian and Lonna Verhelst of Davenport; daughter Jaylene and Church Taylor of Springtown; daughter-in-law Jackie Verhelst of Bennett, granddaughter Andrea and Marcus McCann of Davenport, grandson Lucas Verhelst of Davenport. He was also a bonus grandpa to many grandkids and great-grandkids.

There will be a Celebration of Tom’s life on Saturday, May 7, from 1-4 p.m. at the Walcott American Legion, located at 121 Bryant St., Walcott, IA 52773. Lunch and drinks will be provided.


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