Thomas C. "Tom" Koetter Sr., 85, passed away Friday, December 31, 2021. Born in Olathe, Kansas in 1936, Tom moved to Starlight, Indiana as a youth. After graduating from Flaget High School and serving in the Air National Guard, Tom worked for General Electric, Jacobi Sales, built homes with his brother Bob, and ultimately, worked for the Starlight Cabinet Company, where Tom fulfilled his employer's missing cabinet parts by fabricating them after work and on weekends. His entrepreneurial spirit led he and his wife Mary Frances to found Koetter Woodworking, Inc. in 1959. A pioneer in the woodworking industry, Tom remained active within the company until his retirement after which he was a dedicated advocate of reforestation planting in excess of 500,000 trees covering over 6,000 acres. Tom’s legacy reaches beyond his accomplishments at Koetter Woodworking. His life was one defined by love of family, faith, friends and community. Tom's infectious smile expressed his kind heart and gentle soul. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and neighbor.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Mary Frances; parents, Edward and Lucille (Klein) Koetter, Sr.; brothers, Bob (Gladys), Eddie and Bill, and sister Mary Jean Smith.
He is survived by five sons, Randy (Sis), Rick (Shirley), Jerry (Trisha), Brian (Sarah), and T.J. (Lisa); sixteen grandchildren; Amy (Seth), Brandon, Brittany (Ryan), Shane (Kramer), Shana (Andrew), Casey (Mark), Courtney, Garrett (Sarah), Dakota, Alexis (Paul), Chase (Evan), Mason, Skyler, Emily, Molly and Whitney; fourteen great-grandchildren; Sadi, Noah, Emme, Parker, Reese, Zane,Pierce, Harley, Beau, Emory, Dexter, Jeanne,Wade, Adelaide; brother-in-law; Bill Smith; and sisters-in-law; Mary and Theresa Koetter.
The family would like to express our gratitude and thanks to Tom’s special caregivers, Shirley Koetter, Diane Becht and Cindy Plowman, whose care and love for him was a blessing.
Visitation will be from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 and from 8:00 am to 9:30 am on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at the
Forest Discovery Center at Koetter Woodworking, (533 Louis Smith Rd., Borden, IN). His Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 am on Wednesday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, (8310 St. John Rd., Floyds Knobs, IN) with burial to follow in the church cemetery.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Kentuckiana Chapter at alz.org/kyin.
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