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Thomas Lee Vinberg, 53, died Friday morning, July 9, 2010, at his home, of colon cancer.
His memorial service will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 14, at Fifth Avenue Christian Church, with Ila McClenahan officiating. Burial will follow at Highland Cemetery. A fellowship luncheon will be held at the church immediately after graveside service.
Memorials in Tom's honor may be made to the Gift of Life Housing, P.O. Box 7008, Great Falls, MT 59405, to the M S U - Northern Foundation for diesel mechanic scholarships, P.O. Box 1691, Havre, MT 59501, or to a memorial of one's choice.
Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.
Tom was born March 2, 1957, in Havre, Mont., to Ernest and Victoria (Paluck) Vinberg. He was raised and educated in Havre, graduating from Havre High School in 1975. Tom worked at the Romaine & Swartz Farm and Ranch operation until he graduated from high school. He worked for Big Bud, Williams Field Service and Vaughn Trucking. He then went out on his own and established Northern Equipment & Repair in 1988 and owned and operated it for 22 years. He married Melanie Sjogren, Dec. 23, 1995, in Havre. He and Melanie lived and worked in Havre, and he helped to raise her two youngest boys. Tom operated N.E.R. up until his medical condition no longer allowed him to. He could barely walk and yet kept going, and he was always proud, working hard to make his business survive.
Tom was a kind-hearted person with a compassionate nature. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, going dancing and attending rodeos. He liked to visit with his friends and watching his niece and nephews in their activities.
Tom liked to attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas as his only vacation of the year. Getting to watch the rodeo and hang around with his friends, having fun and sharing laughter were some of the best times of his life. Many people thought Tom was a hard-living, party animal, when in all actuality, he always had God in his heart — not once blaming God for his cancer, but thanking and blessing God daily for everything He had given him and done for him throughout his lifetime.
Many were surprised when visiting Tom over the last few months to hear him witnessing to them or praying with them.
One thing Tom wanted everyone to know was just how important it was to have a colonoscopy.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Vicky Vinberg; his maternal and paternal grandparents; numerous uncles and aunts; and his godson, Jerrod Verploegen.
Tom is survived by his wife of 14 years, Melanie Vinberg of Havre, Mont .; his father, Ernie (Rita) Vinberg; his stepsons, Joe Hawley of Billings, Mont., Jake Hawley of Havre, Mont., and Chuck Hawley of Hays, Mont .; his sisters, Wanda (Steve) McIntosh of Havre, Mont., Louise Dinsmore of Portland, Ore., Stacy (Jim) Wickre of Gary, S.D., and Kim (Bert) Grant of Santa Rosa, Calif .; his 11 grandchildren; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.