Thomas (Tom) Distefano Jr., age 85, formerly of Sioux City passed away Saturday, August 12, 2023.
A first generation Italian-American, Tom was born on January 28, 1938 to Sicilian immigrants Tommaso and Salvatrice Distefano in Sioux City, Iowa. After Tom graduated from Heelan High School in 1956, he went into active military duty in the United States Navy.
Tom served three and a half years in the Navy aboard the gearing-class destroyer USS Hawkins DDR-873 as a telegraph operator. To continue his commitment to the military, Tom was a member of the American Legion since 1986.
After retiring from the Navy, Tom started his professional career as an electrician and proud member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). He later became an entrepreneur and business co-owner, establishing and leading the pool company Aquatic Engineering for 25 years.
In 1958, Tom met his love of 65 years, Arlene Gregerson. After marrying in 1960, Tom and Arlene went on to have five daughters, Rhonda, Renee, Rebecca, Roxanne and Regina.
In 1999, Tom retired and spent his time chasing the sunshine and warmth in Arizona. An avid storyteller, Tom was always surrounded by friends and family – actively listening to tales of the ‘old days’. He loved to bowl and play bocce, read hundreds of books, spent hours putting together puzzles, made every home their own with countless improvement projects and of course cheered on the Green Bay Packers for every game. In 2016 Tom and Arlene moved back to the Midwest to spend time with their children, grand-children and great-grandchildren in Omaha, Council Bluffs and Sioux City.
Tom is survived by his wife, Arlene Distefano and their five daughters, nine grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. They include daughter Rhonda Distefano, granddaughter Brittney Stroup (Bobby) and great granddaughters Emma and Oliva; daughter Renee Beaulieu (Brent), granddaughter Victoria Helm (Matthew), son Colton Beaulieu and great grandchildren Ella, Clay, Quinn and Sage; daughter Rebecca Distefano, grandson Dillon Morris (Stephanie), great grandchildren Hudson, Jackson, Alayla and granddaughter Danielle Morris; daughter Roxanne Dreeszen, grandson Anothony Dreeszen, granddaughter Alexandria Dreeszen and great granddaughter Aria; daughter Regina Distefano (Carrie), grandson Mark Wiener (Cheyenne), great grandson Otis and grandson Kodey Cleveland.
Services will be held at the Meyer Brothers Morningside Chapel on Friday, August 18, 2023 at 4:30PM following a 3:00 visitation. In remembrance of Tom’s life, a charitable donation will be made to the Wounded Warrior Project in his honor.