Tom Avenarius, the second of five children, was born July 8, 1950, to Norman (Hank) and Ella Mae (Morgan) Avenarius in Dubuque. He was educated in Dubuque, graduating from St. Mary’s Grade School in 1964, and then graduating from Dubuque Senior High School in 1968.
After graduating high school, Tom enlisted in the United States Army in 1968. He attended basic training in Fort Bliss, Texas, and went on to advanced training in the U.S. Army Engineering School, AIT. He worked as a mechanic in Fort Belvoir, Va. Tom was then stationed in Germany from January 1969 to March 1970. His tour continued to Vietnam from April 19, 1970, to March 26, 1971. Upon completion of his requirements, Tom was discharged from the military March 27, 1971, as a specialist 4th class.
Tom continued his education after his service by attending Northeast Iowa Community College for auto mechanics specialization.
On Jan. 13, 1973, Tom married Jane Marie Kressig and began his family. Tom and Jane now have four children, Michael, Matthew, Tamara and Michelle; one stepson, Steven; three grandsons; and three step-grandchildren.
Tom entered the workforce after completing his schooling by joining John Deere Dubuque Works in 1972 as a welder. He continued to work for John Deere until his retirement in 2002 after fulfilling 30 years of dedicated service.
Tom takes special pride in his many interests and activities. During his child-raising years, he spent many of his free hours volunteering in the Tiger Scouts, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. While volunteering for the Asbury Fire Department as a fireman since 1983, he earned his EMT B and is currently serving as a safety officer. Tom is an active member of the Asbury Eagle’s Club and participates in many fundraisers, donating to the community’s local charities. He is a member of Resurrection Parish in Dubuque.