Thomas Koehler

Thomas A. Koehler, 71, of Jackson passed away Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, surrounded by his family.

He was born May 28, 1948, in Cape Girardeau, the third of six children to Henry C. "Clem" and Dora L. "Johnny" Schaefer Koehler. He and Shirley Schuessler were married Dec. 30, 1993, in Cape Girardeau.

Tom was a 1968 graduate of Jackson High School. He held many different jobs throughout his life, but mainly worked as a carpenter and wood craftsman. Many who knew him considered him a master storyteller, music lover and avid reader. In his later years, he was most proud of his "Uncle Tom" and "Silly Pa-Pa" status. He loved spending time with family and friends, especially outdoors.

Loving survivors include his wife of nearly 26 years, Shirley Koehler of Jackson; five children, Teresa Tanner (Kenny Spradling) of Jackson, Connie (Joe) Farrow of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, Angel (Matt) Wright of Farmington, Missouri, Tina (Jeff) Purvis of Nixa, Missouri, and Brian Conrad of Fruitland; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Thomas Koehler II.

A celebration of Tom's life will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 24 at Deerfield Lodge, 6275 County Road 313 in Cape Girardeau. Meat and drinks will be provided; bring your favorite potluck dish.

The family suggests contributions be made to the family to assist with funeral expenses.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson is in charge of arrangements.