Thomas Xavier Brandner
June 2, 1950 - January 10, 2020
Thomas “Tom”, passed away January 10, 2020 in Fort Mohave, AZ. He was born June 2, 1950 to Paul and Gertrude Brandner in Salem. He grew up in Salem with his 2 brothers, 3 sisters and many cousins in the Willamette Valley. He attended grade school at St. Vincent de Paul. He attended Serra Catholic High School and graduated May of 1968. He enlisted in 1969 into the Vietnam War. He served in the Army. For his service he was awarded the Vietnamese Service Medal with 2 bronze stars, Army Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, to name some of the awards he received while serving his country. After returning from Ft. Hood, Texas he came back to Salem to raise his family and start his work career.
He attended Chemeketa Community College earning a degree in welding. He held jobs at State Farm Regional Office, poured and laid concrete, and eventually found his way to Albany where he worked at Teledyne Wah Chang, before working at Western Kraft (later know as Willamette Industries and last known as International Paper). He worked many positions at the mill. His last to be in the warehouse until the mill closed. During his retirement he continued with his big passion of riding his Harley Davidson. He took up a new hobby of taking his motorhome, along with his wife Carol and their dog Harley on various trips. A favorite spot was Canyonville resort. When he was not out riding his Harley or in the motorhome, he could be found cheering on his grandchildren at various swim meets, soccer, football, track/ field and basketball games. He was also known for helping out others. He collected various items, that he knew would be used by someone or could be used for a project. Known for his big heart and hard work ethic. He had a laugh that was contagious, had great stories to tell and made everyone feel welcomed.
Tom was preceded in death by both of his parents. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Carol and her sons Josh and Brian and his daughter Michelle Lisa (Karl). Brothers, Steve (Roswitha), Joe (Pam), sisters, Paula (Neal), Mary (Paul), Marilyn (John), several nieces, nephews along with 12 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. For Tom, life was a beautiful ride and most likely he rode through the pearly gates on a Harley.
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