Thomas R. Vaal, 78, St. Meinrad

Thomas R. Vaal, 78, of St. Meinrad, died Sunday, October 10. He was born in St. Meinrad March 15, 1943, to Linus and Irene (Loehrlein) Vaal. He married Carol A. Waninger May 4, 1963, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Fulda. She died December 13, 2019.

Thomas was a lifelong farmer of animals and crops. He loved to travel with his wife and family and was an avid card player and bird watcher. He worked as an agent and treasurer for St. Joseph’s Mutual Insurance, served Spencer County as a commissioner, and was active and on the boards of Country Mark and Spencer County Coop. He was a member of St. Meinrad Catholic Parish, a member of the church choir, the Knights of Columbus, and the Meinrad Sons of the Legion Post 366.

He is survived by two sons, David Vaal and wife Tricia, Santa Claus, and Brian Vaal and wife Pam, St. Meinrad; one daughter, Brenda Smith and husband Michael, Haubstadt; daughter-in-law Denise Vaal Stetter, Derby; 10 grandchildren, Ryan Vaal and wife Abby, Courtney Heberer and husband Burgess, Aaron Smith and wife Taryn, Adam Smith and wife Stephanie, Jason Vaal and wife Haley, Alex and Andrew Smith, Garret and Gavin Vaal, and Gracelyn Durham and husband Trent; one great-grandchild,  Eleanor Heberer, and one due in April; three brothers, Gene Vaal and wife Mary Lou, John Vaal and wife Susie, and Tim Vaal and wife Angie, all of St. Meinrad; and five sisters, Linda Mehringer and husband Sam, Jasper, Lou Ann Lueken and husband Francis, Ferdinand, Janet Dilger and husband Larry, Marian Hill, Susan Brier and husband Kevin, Schnellville, and Mary Roos and husband Ronnie, Lamar.

In addition to his parents and wife he was preceded in death by one son, Glenn Vaal.

Friends may call from 2-8 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday at Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand and from 8-10 a.m. (CDT) Thursday at St. Meinrad Church. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Online condolences can be shared at A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. (CDT) Thursday at the church. A private burial will be held at a later date.




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