Mesenbourg, Thomas Leo, Sr.
Birth: Wednesday, November 20, 1918 in St. Paul, Minnesota
Residence: Waldorf, Maryland
Death: Saturday, December 08, 2018 at the age of 100
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Thomas Leo Mesenbourg Sr., a resident of Waldorf, Maryland passed away on December 8, 2018. He was 100 and lived a spectacular and long life filled with laughter, joy and love. Thomas "Big Tom" Mesenbourg was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 20, 1918. He was the middle son of Clementine and Frank Mesenbourg. He had two brothers, Jack and Jerry.
Big Tom attended the University of Minnesota and studied accounting. He enlisted in the military as a cadet in 1941. During a training mission in 1942, his military plane crashed into a mountain in New Mexico. He and the survivors of the crash called themselves "The Wolfpack" and flew 58 missions together during WWII. He survived three near-death experiences during the war.
After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1945, he married a gorgeous woman from Hollywood, California. Big Tom and Mary Derby Mesenbourg DeRocco were married for 35 years and had five children together, son Thomas Mesenbourg, Jr. of La Plata, Maryland; James Mesenbourg of Patchogue, New York; Mary Lou Lambert of Vero Beach, Florida; Susan Mesenbourg (deceased), and Timothy Mesenbourg of Charlestown, Rhode Island.
Big Tom spent his sales career working for U.S. Rubber (Uniroyal) until 1986, where he ran the footwear division and became the head of Sperry Topsider. He wore sperry topsiders until the day he died. He retired and moved to Vero Beach, Florida in 1986. That's where he met his second wife and companion of 26 years, Hope Mesenbourg. Big Tom lived and influenced many people while living in various cities across the United States, including Kansas City, Missouri, Huntington, New York, and Cheshire, Connecticut.
Those are the facts of his life, but they cannot convey the magnificence of Big Tom. He had a larger-than-life personality and lit up every room he walked into with his boldness and outrageous comments. He had an exquisite (and sometimes offending) sense of humor but offered no apologies for who he was. He was famous (in our family and beyond) for his audacious stories. He loved poetry and recited it throughout his life. "Oh Captain, My Captain" would move him to tears and he inspired his children and grandchildren to love poetry as well.
Big Tom loved to argue. He loved to talk. He loved scotch. He loved food. He loved women (a little too much!). He loved music, especially Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash. He loved his family. He loved to reflect on his life and his choices. He loved sports. He loved to read. He loved to carve animals and boats out of wood.
He is survived by many relatives who loved him dearly: daughter-in-laws Faith Mesenbourg, Nancy Mesenbourg, and Rhonda Mesenbourg; grandchildren and their spouses Alina and Jamey Graydon, Erika Mesenbourg and Hector Velez, Bryan and Meghan Mesenbourg, Gregory and Pamela Lambert, and Nick and Emily Mesenbourg; great-grandchildren James Graydon, III, Alexandra Graydon, Cypress Mesenbourg and Noah Graydon.
Big Tom was surrounded by the love of his family when he left this earth. He said goodbye to his life here with Frank Sinatra playing in his ear and "Oh Captain, My Captain" being read to his soul. He was the Mesenbourg family's Captain and our lives will be a little duller without him in it but we are forever grateful for the gift of his life and his impact on ours. Arrangements by Raymond Funeral Service.