Thomas MacDonald-Williams
September 15, 1949 - March 21, 2020

Thomas MacDonald-Williams, age 70, of Manning, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, March 21, 2020, at his home.
Funeral services are pending and will be held at a later date when circumstances allow.
Ohde Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.
Tom is survived by his wife Sharon of Manning.

The full obituary for Tom is posted on the Ohde Funeral Home site and also under my Manning obituary web page.

1981 Manning Centennial logos designed by Tom

On page 338 of the Manning Centennial book.

I'm showing Tom's work before his picture - he was a man of amazing talents that not many people realized!

#1303 original water color by Tom in 1997
Was on display in the Main Street Hospital Lobby

Watercolor view of Third Street

#1302 original water color by Tom
Was on display in the Main Street Hospital Lobby in 1997

Watercolor of the old Wyatt Hospital

1981 Manning Fire Department

I teased Tom that he was building the "Great Wall of Manning."

From the 2006 Manning Quasquicentennial history book

Thomas and Sharon MacDonald-Williams

Sharon, Thomas
Thomas MacDonald-Williams, son of John and Margaret Asher (MacDonald) Williams was born September 15, 1949, in Forres, Morayshire, Scotland. On March 1, 1975, he married Sharon Grimm, in London, England. Tom spent his childhood in Elgin, Scotland, attending Elgin Academy. He continued his education at Elgin College of Further Education and at Technical Colleges in Inverness and Aberdeen, Scotland, graduating with distinction in Preservation and Restoration of Ancient Monuments from the City and Guilds Institute of London (1970.) His career with the U.K. Government's Department of the Environment, Ancient Monuments Division, took him to London where he was stationed when he met Sharon in 1974.
Sharon, the daughter of Clousie and Betty (Grelck) Grimm, was born February 14, 1948; she grew up in Manning, graduating as Valedictorian of the class of 1966. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Iowa State University in 1970 in Institution Management. She then attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, receiving a Master's Degree in Nutrition and completing a dietetic internship in 1974. She and her friend, Carolyn Hall of Bassett, Nebraska, backpacked throughout Europe for six months in 1974. She met Tom while in London. Following her backpacking adventure, she returned to London and found employment as a dietitian. After their wedding in 1975, she and Tom lived and worked in London until 1977, when they decided to emigrate to Manning.
In 1977, Tom and Sharon purchased the Corner Cafe on Manning's Main Street. With Tom's expertise in building restoration and Sharon's degree in management, they ran a successful business for 17 years. The decor evolved from chrome and vinyl to that of a half-timbered English pub. Attending auctions was a major part of their lives and finding just the right piece for their business or home was a constant challenge.
Tom has been active in the Manning Fire Department since 1978 and has served as its secretary since 1979. He was also a member of Manning's Urban Renewal Board and is a lifetime member of the Hayes Township Schuetzen Verein.
Sharon's career in dietetics led her to the WIC Program in 1981. She has been a Dietitian with the WIC Program for 24 years and has been proud to work with thousands of young mothers as they start their families. Sharon's activities have included the Manning Garden Club and the Board of the Manning Community Chest. She and Tom share a love of gardening and antiques.

Sharon Grimm MHS 1966

Jon Grimm MHS 1970
April 25, 1952 - August 17, 2003

Susan Grimm MHS 1977
December 17, 1958 - October 25, 2006

Clousie & Betty (Grelck) Grimm

1952 Clousie with Jon & Sharon

Susan Grimm 1977

Susan Grimm & Becky Rowedder

Sharon, Susan & Jon Grimm

1999 Jon Grimm

April 2008 - The house has been in the family back to the beginning - Henry & Ida (Kusel) Grube

I had always planned on getting information about Tom's dad and grandfather who served during WWII, but like usual I never have enough time.
If I remember it correctly, Tom has the hyphenated name of MacDonald which comes from his mother's maiden name because they wanted him to carry on that family name, and the second part of Tom's name is Williams - his dad's name.

I wanted to get some military information about both, even though they served in the Scottish military during WWII, because I wanted to add their information to Clousie Grimm's military story as a inclusive "family Veteran" history for the Manning Veterans' book.

John Williams WWII (Tom's dad)

Tommy MacDonald WWII (Tom's uncle) KIA and is buried in Burma

Now I want to show another amazing talent Tom had. I asked him to transcribe old WWI & WWII letters written home that I had scanned over the years for the Manning Veterans' book I could have done it which would have taken away my time for scanning things BUT because Tom grew up in the United Kingdom and was a student of history, he could add notes/comments to the transcription to explain what the Veteran was writing about and provide some clarity to the hand-written documents.

Please read the last lines of this transcription linked below where Tom complimented Ernest about how well written the letter was as "the best constructed narrative I have read from this period."

Also notice an unimportant point (important only to me) where Tom called me "Davie."
Tom and my brother-in-law are the only ones who still call me Davie, which I get a big kick out of...

Ernest Sutherland WWI transcription

Now Tom tended to have a serious side about him, but if you got to know him he had a very funny sense of humor and a belly laugh...something I was fortunate to observe during my many visits with him.
The pictures below give that "serious" impression but not really a true image for him.
If you believe in ONLY first impressions then you would be wrong, based on his more serious presentation.

1993 member of the MFD

2004 - MFD secretary for 27 years

Now Tom also was a very beneficial member of the fire department by transcribing the records.
Here is just one example of his work.

MFD membership

Water color by Tom

July 22, 1914, Manning Fire Department Running Team in the Maquoketa parade after the tournament. Herman P. Hansen leading the team with the banner, followed by the following team members: Joe Rushenberg, Earl Lathrop, Frank Hoffmann, William Dillingham, Harry Hoffmann, Harry Werder, Art Goettsch, John Rostermundt, Charles McLaughlin, Everett Dyson, Frank Mantz, Henry Grelck, O.C. Kempf, Ryle H. Wheeler (Captain & Chief).

2001 Children's Day - Tom Williams - Brett Irlbeck driving the LaFrance

2001 Children's Day - Tom Williams & Corey Otto working the water fight contest.

2004 New Year's Eve party at the Hausbarn-Heritage Park

Now I want to get back to Tom's amazing artistic talent. He really loved to use water colors for original photos, BUT he was also amazing at free-hand.

I want to impress upon everyone and stress that Tom NEVER once asked for payment - he freely volunteered to do these projects for me...something that I'll desperately miss and now really hits me how SPOILED I was and really did not take the time to properly thank him for all of his efforts.

2009 School history book coins

Below is how the design began by Tom

Rim Course



I have never been able to find a front view of the old GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) hall that was on the east side of the north end of Main Street.
This wooden building was once located where the old Louck's block building now stands which was just north of the laundromat.

So I asked Tom to artistically draw the front by using the picture below that was taken from the water tower in the 1920s.

View looking slightly northwest from the water tower

Arrow points to the GAR Hall

Tom's AMAZING artistic impression of the front...
Note: the house in the background is the house he and Sharon have lived in all of these years.
He added this by memory of the present house and old pictures of the front of that house.
This image will be used in the Manning Veterans' history book...

Here is more work Tom did for me for the school history book project.

Manning's first school 1883

Original photo...

Manning's second school 1907

Manning's third school completed 1918 - with gym added in 1937
Note that the high school was first used during the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic!

Ewoldt No. 5 "Center School" (Wiese country school 1 mile east of Manning)

Logo Tom made for the 2009 Manning school history book.

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