I have been putting off writing anything, waiting to think of the right words to say about how I feel about Tom. I started at station 1 with Tom as my lieutenant and worked again with him at station 3. We were tight-knit from working exclusively with the same three people for 24 hours at a time. I measured how good a father I could be from witnessing Tom with his kids. I can still remember stories about his kids they probably never knew he told. He was always so proud of his family.
I am going to remember Tom as a guy who loved watching a movie at the end of the work day with his crew ( he didn’t like scary movies, especially if you jumped and screamed unexpectedly). He was a great cook and we all enjoyed everything but his liver and onions.I loved learning all about farming from him. He could talk for hours on any subject from planting to harvesting. His love for the family farm he bought just before retiring was palpable.
He was always good natured and quick with a grin or a big beaming smile. I loved to see him laugh with his eyes squinted. You knew he was really laughing.
I am going to miss Tom, along with so many people that had the pleasure to meet him. He was truly a good man.
Friend and co-worker, Joe Corbin
I worked with Tom probably the most of my 25 years as a fire fighter. He and I got along very well and he was knowledgeable and fair as a supervisor. However after a while he and I became friends. He was always happy, positive and talked about retirement and fishing and hunting. I am sad to hear of his passing but I know he was doing what he loved to do. My thoughts and prayers are with his family; they and WE all have lost a special man. God bless you Tom Lacina, you will be missed.
Rhonda, Rita, Elaine, kids and grandkids,
I was so sad, and shocked, to hear the news. I hope you all can find some comfort in the many wonderful memories you have of Tom, I know I am. Growing up with 8 years separating us I always looked up to Tom as a big brother. He was always so calm, measured, and level headed. Even if he was annoyed with sharing his room for overnight stays he never ever made me feel like I was an inconvenience. I learned a LOT from how he treated people. He made everyone feel appreciated. He showed me by example how to be a humble human being even when he was a teenager being pestered by an 8 year old. I'm forever grateful to have had a cousin like Tom! He will be missed. Love you all!!
Tom did like to retell stories. But they were stories of gratefulness. He told about Harry working his Christmas shift so he could be home with his young children. Always grateful.
He also repeated the story of a house fire when he was at the top of the ladder when firefighters heaved a victim onto his shoulder. He sort of slid down the ladder to find that schappy had held the ladder on a hill so Tom was able to get down safely.
You will be missed, but you have left us with wonderful memories. Peace be with you. Thank you for your service----- lori Brooks
I worked with Tom for many years of our careers. Tom was considerate and fair in his rank as my lieutenant. We were co-workers but most importantly we were good friends. I was shocked to hear about his untimely death. He will be missed by all who knew him. My condolences to Tom's family. God bless you Tom.
All my love and prayers to the lacina family. Tom was the overall great guy. A straight shooter. As long as you were upfront with him he was flooded with overwhelming warmth sincere gratitude towards you. I have rented from Tom for 12 + years I got to know him quite well. He will be missed. RIP Tom ❤❤❤
Oh Rhonda and family....I am so sorry for your loss of Tom. I can't imagine what you all are going through. I have such fond memories of Tom. When Will and Larry were wrestling in high school and singing in the school choir Tom was always there. And he was there with encouragement and a smile. He was always the nicest person. So accepting of everyone around him. My heart breaks for you. Know that I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers as the days go by. Much love to you all.
Darline (Jones) Horton
Dear Elaine and Rita and Rhonda.
So sorry to hear about Tom. Even though I only saw him at special family gatherings, he always came over to say Hi and always had a smile on his face.
My love and prayers are with you. Michael
Lieutenant Lacina’s brothers and sisters at the Iowa City Fire Department are saddened to hear of his passing.
I had the pleasure of working for Tom early in my career. I enjoyed the years I spent with him on ICFD Engine 3. Tom taught me a lot about the ins and outs of fire department leadership. Tom had unparalleled diversity of experience, and he taught me about building construction, farming, finance, investment, insurance, and a host of other things. One of Tom’s greatest attributes as a boss is that he would encourage his subordinates to exercise initiative, providing support along the way when and where it was needed. Once the project was done, Tom exercised humility in leadership that made certain that his subordinates received recognition, all the while shunning recognition for himself. Like many others, I owe Tom a lot for recognizing when I needed to be taught, and understanding when it was best to stand-back and watch me test my wings.
Tom’s truest testimony, though, has more to do with character than his public service. In Iowa City’s fire stations this week, Tom’s co-workers aren’t talking about what kind of firefighter or leader was. We are talking about how he was an uncommon example of a nice guy and devoted family man. In the years before I myself became a father, I had the valuable opportunity to observe a man who worked hard to balance the rigors or work life with those of carefully and consistently fostering a family life which was characterized by love and devotion. In the time since I first heard the horrible news, I – like many others – have found my thoughts turning toward the many late-night conversations in the living room of a fire station, exploring topics and telling stories which were all educational for me. If you knew Tom well, you know that you were liable to hear the same story more than once! I smiled when it happened then and continued to listen, and I smile when I think about it now, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have known a solid man who was a good example of someone who was committed to others. In this way, Tom had valuable lessons to teach us all - lessons that were certainly worth hearing more than once.
Rhonda and family: we are so sorry. We all look forward to the time when we can gather together and remember him with you. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family now, and will remain.
On behalf of Iowa City firefighters present and past –
Rhonda and family,
I worked with you many years ago at Creative World. My heart goes out to you during this sad time.
With deepest sympathy,
My heart is very heavy hearing this horrible news. I have many memories of when I would go out to the Lacina farm, here just outside of West Branch. Tom would always go out of his way just to say hello whenever we saw each other. The whole Lacina family is very dear to my heart. I always looked up to Tom, he was such a great roll model for anyone. Always willing to help and had a heart of gold with a beautiful big smile all the time.To all the Lacina family, you had a very special man in your lives. He will live on forever through you all. Rita,Rhonda and Elaine, he was taken from you way to soon so much love yet to give you. Just know that God needed Tom's help and know one else's but Tom's. RIP my dear friend.
Rhonda,Ben, Diana, Will, Rita and Elaine,
Rich and I are so sorry for your loss. Tom was certainly a rock for his family and it was very evident how much he loved and cared for you all. Our thoughts and prayers are with each one of you now and in the coming days. I want to pass on hugs to you all! Naomi and Rich
Rhonda and family,
We are so very sorry to hear about Tom, please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time,
Larry and Karen Lenz
Rhonda, to you and your family I want to offer my sincere sympathy at this time in the tragic loss of Tom. He was a great gentleman and gave his all for mankind with his love of family, friends and service to community. RIP Tom.
Rhonda, Boomer, Deedles and Woody,
You all have my deepest and sincerest sympathy. I am just stunned by this sad news. Tom was one of the good guys and everyone will miss him but certainly won’t forget him. Nor will I and in my memories he truly will live forever. My best wishes and heartfelt condolences to you all.
To the Lacina family,
We are so sorry for the loss of Tom. He was a good person and always willing to help at any time he was asked. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
Jerry and Nancy Ford
I was a classmate of Tom's and remember him as a sweet and gentle soul. My condolences to his family and friends. Heaven gained a treasure.
When I think of Tom Lacina I will always think of the time his son Ben had a birthday and Tom and Rhonda took a group of kids to Lake Iowa for Ben's birthday. A group of local Lone Tree kids hauled off in a camper to Lake Iowa. We were all around the age of maybe 8 or 9 at the time. It was like going to Disneyland for me. I just really look back on the weekend and think how lucky were as kids to have experienced that. It is really the reason I take my kids to farm ponds now. It's something I will always remember. Tom and Rhonda are such good people with big hearts and huge laughs. It was a weekend with friends and grilling hot dogs and roasting marshmallows over a fire. We had plenty of Super Soakers as well! On the last day of the weekend I remember all of kids filling a bucket full of 5 inch fish that nobody in their right mind would want to clean. I don't think Tom at the time knew we were collecting them. The fish we caught consisted of bullheads, bass, carp, and maybe a little crappie. If you are reading this and you are a fisherman/fisherwomen you know none of these fish are that easy to clean and they don't taste like walleye! Guess who had to clean all of these fish? Tom did! He was happier than a clam while doing it! He cleaned the fish because he knew we were working hard to catch them. He made us feel important and he kept telling us good job after every fish we caught. He did it with a huge smile! Tom, you were a class act, a gentleman, a family man, a smart man, a hard working man, a man who gave back to his community, and a man we was completely loyal to his family.
Ben, Diana, Will, and Rhonda I very am very sorry for your loss. Godspeed!
I was a classmate from the class of 1976. I had not seen him since graduation but He hadn't changed one bit. It sounds like heaven gained a great Angel. And his family lost a beloved man. My heart goes out to the family and friends close to Tom. May God hold you and guide you in this time of loss.
Rhonda and family,
Ruby and I were so shocked to hear about Tom's passing from an accident. We always remember the times we had following Will and Mike throughout their schooling and sports from a very young age! Tom was always there to help in any way that he could whether it be through a donation or a helping hand. He loved the school and community of Lone Tree and did so many things to help both. We had so many memorable times especially watching Will and Mike turn into great young men. A man like Tom is hard to come by these days- hard working, tough, but gentle, and loving of his entire family. We feel so fortunate to have had him in our lives. Rhonda, if there's ever anything Ruby and I can do help, please never hesitate to call. We are so thankful for all the things you and Tom have done for our school and community. Rhonda, you are one of kind when it comes to a teacher. You are the ultimate professional!
Please take care and again we are so sorry for your loss.
Ruby and Tom, along with the entire Dickey family.
Rhonda and family, we are so sorry for your loss. You all are in our prayers. God Bless.
My sincerest condolences to the Lacina family. Tom was a great father and I very much appreciate how he stepped in as a 2nd father to my daughter Kat when I had moved out of state. I didn't get the opportunity to talk to Tom very often, but he was always very pleasant to talk to and would always be ready with a joke or two.
He will be greatly missed, and if there's anything I can do to help the family out, please let me know.
I am so sorry for your loss. I enjoyed many a time with Tom when we were growing up and was happy we were able to reconnect a couple of years ago. Riding motorcycles, working on the farm, sledding at his Grandfather's farm were all good memories. I hope your good memories with Tom bring you comfort.
Cole & Anna Church
Rhonda, you and your family are in our prayers daily. We are so sorry for your loss. We love you.