Thomas D. McNamee


McNamee, Thomas D. of Edina, larger than life in his presence and his achievements, died suddenly and unexpectedly on October 8, 2017. Born on September 20, 1929, to Ray and Hazel McNamee, Tom was the eighth of eleven siblings. During his boyhood the family lived across the street from Powderhorn Park, where his lifelong interest in sports was born. Tom had an intense, walk-through-fire spirit in living and competing, and he emerged at Central High School as one of the most celebrated and written-about prep athletes in the Twin Cities. As a tri-athlete, he set a discus-throwing record that was unsurpassed by an alumnus for decades. Football was Tom's passion. Cultivated by talent scouts from colleges and universities throughout the country, he settled on Purdue University for his scholarly and athletic pursuits. His Boilermakers team shared the Big 10 Championship in 1952, and Tom proudly wore the gold award ring for the rest of his life. Declining offers to play professionally, he returned to his Minneapolis roots. After two years in the Army, Tom set his sights on love and married his true sweetheart, Peggy Ann Philipp. Together they raised a family and celebrated sixty years of marriage in 2016, only months before her passing. Their adoring daughter, Mary Ellen (Michael Schrauth), and devoted son, Tommy, survive their parents. Tom followed where his entrepreneurial spirit called him. From his first business, La Pizzeria, on Lake St. in Minneapolis, to the Las Vegas Tropicana Hotel (where he was general manager), to the 494 strip (Ichabod's South), and on to a business conglomerate in Southern California, he blazed a successful trail with his leadership abilities and popularity among colleagues and friends. Tom's storytelling, particularly from the Las Vegas years and good times with his "Animal" friends at Edina Country Club, are legendary. With his passing, he leaves friends and family members who would give anything to hear him share his stories just one more time. Tom cared about the Twin Cities and gave generously of his time and treasure to the YMCA and Incarnation Church, among others. He coached youth football and basketball programs throughout the city. His many contributions were often done quietly. Besides his son and daughter, Tom is survived by a sister, Catherine Murray, and a brother, Bill McNamee. His family plans a private mass and celebratory gathering with those he held closely. In lieu of floral tributes the family suggests memorial gifts to an organization above, or the donor's choice.