Thomas Joseph Smokey, 72, of Winona, passed away on Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Gundersen Health System due to heart failure and MDS, Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Tom was born on December 30, 1945, in Winona, Minn., to John and Agnes (Podjaski) Smokey.
Tom graduated from Cotter High School in 1964 and was drafted into the United States Army where he served for four years, which included being stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War. Tom worked at Badger Construction for over 43 years.
Tom met the love of his life, Donna Kohner, at a wedding in North Dakota, and they dated and then married on August 19, 1972, at St. Mary’s Church in Winona. Together they started a family and had two wonderful children, Heather and Jeffrey Smokey. For over 25 years, Tom and Donna spent their winters in Mexico, walking the beach and enjoying the sun. You could always find him every morning at Kwik Trip getting his coffee and then driving around, patrolling the town. He wouldn’t miss his Saturday cards and Sunday “Church” across the river. Tom enjoyed walking, jogging or a good bike ride every day before he would get his work done around the house. Tom loved his Miller Lites and meeting friends out and about. He was an avid Minnesota football and baseball fan. He was a member of the American Legion Post 9 and served over 25 years in the Goodview Activity Group, in which his favorite duty was being the Parade Marshall. He would always say “It isn’t a parade until I say it’s a parade.” Everyone knew Tom as “Smokey.”
Tom is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Donna; his children, Heather (Bill) Gilles and Jeff Smokey (signfiicant other, Cindi Capman); beautiful grandchildren, Sean Gilles, Elin Gilles and Zoey Smokey; brother, Jim (Kathy) Smokey; nephew David (Mary) Smokey. He was preceded in death by his parents and a nephew, Allyn.
There will be a celebration of Tom’s wonderful life on Thursday, August 23, 2018, at Hoff Celebration Center starting with Military Honors at 4 p.m. followed by visitation until 6:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a service honoring his amazing life.
We would like to thank the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Gundersen Health System for their compassion and care. In honor of Tom, we hope you would donate blood to the American Red Cross which provided Tom the support he needed in his journey. We also invite you to stay after the service and have a Miller Lite on him.