To the editor:
On Tuesday, Sept. 3, a man was laid to rest in Maple Lawn Cemetery. In certain respects, he was just an ordinary person like the rest of us. But in other respects, he was extraordinary.
Faribault born and raised, Tom McDonough had a passion for work and for people, and he achieved great success as a result. For over 40 years, he built and developed Met-Con Cos. into a major construction entity in southern Minnesota. He’d give all the credit to his employees because that’s the type of business leader he was. But actually, it was his instincts, his drive to succeed, and his sincere belief in treating people fairly that propelled him and his employees to new heights.
He played a major role in the development of the industrial park, started a number of businesses of his own, and relocated several other businesses to Faribault. Yet with all of his successes, Tom remained humble and very down to earth. He would wave or talk to virtually everybody, and never acted like he was anyone special.
He also gave back. He supported all varieties of local youth and adult sports teams; provided time, treasure, and talent to local charities, churches, and service groups; helped individuals without expecting anything in return; and contributed to law enforcement agencies to help them protect and serve the community. That ongoing support for law enforcement was acknowledged powerfully when his funeral procession arrived at the cemetery and the K-9 police dogs – whose funding, I understand, he helped to underwrite – were standing guard on either side of the cemetery gate.
His funeral procession from the church to the cemetery was a sight to behold. Let by several pieces of Met-Con heavy equipment and numerous big trucks, the procession weaved its way through town from Divine Mercy Church to Maple Lawn. At one point, as the front end loader leading the procession was turning off Highway 60 onto Western Avenue, there was a continuous line of cars and Met-Con trucks all the way back onto Prairie Avenue. A very fitting final ride for Tom.
True to his down home nature, Tom’s final resting place is about a block from the house where he lived the majority of his adult life. His grave is near the road on the east side of the entrance. When you drive down Fourth Street past the cemetery, give a honk or wave to a true local icon.
Godspeed, Tom McDonough.