Thomas Walter Potts

February 6, 1950 - October 18, 2022

Thomas Walter Potts, son of Kenneth and Naomi “Joanne” (Lykke) Potts, was born February 6, 1950, in Harlan, Iowa. He grew up on the farm west of Elk Horn and graduated with the Elk Horn-Kimballton High School class of 1968. He continued his education at Boone Junior College for two years. Tom then worked in bridge construction as a crane and heavy equipment operator for several years. Tom liked to hitchhike, and during this time in his life, he traveled between Elk Horn and Maine numerous times. In 1976, Tom settled back on the family farm and established a carpentry business. He took time to slow down, but still remained active in the business.
In 1979, Tom was united in marriage with Sheila Johnson and they made their home at Elk Horn. After four years, they were divorced but continued to remain friends.
 For many years, Tom was an active member of Elk Horn Lutheran Church and Luther League. He played taps on trumpet for numerous funerals, and also sang at many weddings and funerals. He liked to “freestyle,” making up songs as he went. He connected with everyone and would reacquaint with people wherever he went. Tom loved his family and grandkids. Above all, he enjoyed making people smile and laugh.
Tom had a lifelong heart condition and in the last couple of months his health deteriorated. On Tuesday, October 18, 2022, Tom passed away peacefully on the Potts family farm.  He was 72 years, 8 months and 12 days of age.
 Tom was preceded in death by his parents Ken and Joanne Potts.
He is survived by his son Nate Potts and wife Carri of Elk Horn; three grandchildren: Trey Sander, Aiden Potts and Anna Potts; three siblings:  Karen and husband Mark Tompkins of Ames; Gloria and husband Bruce Ahrendsen of Panora; and Tim Potts and wife Tracey of Shelby; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.



Harlan Newspapers

1114 7th Street
P.O. Box 721
Harlan, IA 51537-0721

(800) 909-6397

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