Thomas Albert Boeglin, 88, of Ferdinand, passed away at home on April 8, 2022.
Described in his high school yearbook as the “boy with a twinkle in his eye,” Tom was born in Ferdinand to Otto and Clara (Remke) Boeglin on July 5, 1933. Tom was the fourth of seven children: Mary Jo (Leroy) Schipp, Anne (Charles) Metzger, Bob (Mary) Boeglin, Joe (Betty) Boeglin, and Jack (Delores) Boeglin, all deceased. Tom is survived by his youngest brother, Jim (Jan) Boeglin, of Ft. Wayne.
Tom is also survived by his cherished wife of 66 years, Betty (Kempf) Boeglin. Tom met Betty at a dance at the Brown Derby in Schnellville. Though he wasn’t playing saxophone that night, Tom was known as a smooth dancer and a saxophone player in the Willie Bartley orchestra. Tom and Betty were married August 13, 1955, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Schnellville. They initially lived in Colorado and Evansville before settling in Ferdinand and raising their six children: Deb (Dave) Knust of Richardson, TX; Rick (Patty) Boeglin of Ovilla, TX; Tim (Cynthia Reichard) of Bloomington, IN (deceased); Susan (Jim Mehling) Ellspermann of Ferdinand, IN; Brian Boeglin of Pittsburgh, PA; and Jennifer (Brian) Klem of Coppell, TX. Tom took enormous pride and pleasure in his six children, sixteen grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren.
Tom graduated from Huntingburg High School in 1951, completed a program in watch repair at Bradley University, and became a certified gemologist. Tom worked for Utterback Jewelers in Evansville and Welp Jewelry in Jasper before opening the first-ever jewelry store in Ferdinand: “Boeglin’s Jewelry and Gents Shoppe”–later shortened to simply “Boeglin’s.” The store opened on Main Street in 1965 in a rented building that had a laundromat in the back.
Realizing he needed more space for his growing business, Tom built a new building for the store at 1320 Main Street. That building stands there today. The store’s quality jewelry was a welcome gift for thousands of customers in Dubois and Spencer counties and beyond. Some customers still keep Tom’s handwritten notes about the watches he cleaned and repaired, and his jewelry will be passed down for generations.
Tom and Betty retired from the store in 1995. Tom was active in the Ferdinand Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees, and St. Ferdinand Catholic Church Parish Council. He was a sacrist and server for mass. Tom and Betty enjoyed more than 20 years of travel during retirement, driving their motorhome cross-country, wintering in Florida, and visiting all 50 states. As retirement extended, they visited Rome and the Holy Land. Tom continued a hobby of cross-stitching pillows for seriously ill children at Memorial Hospital, donating over 200 pillows over almost 15 years. He also delivered Meals on Wheels for many years.
Tom will be remembered as a successful businessman, uncompromising father, baby whisperer, avid bowler, sporadic prankster, and devoted Catholic. He was a die-hard fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Hoosiers, and he was a crossword and sudoku enthusiast.
Visitation is at Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand from 4-8 pm on Monday, April 11. Mass is at 10 am on Tuesday, April 12, at St. Ferdinand Catholic Church. Donations may be made to St. Ferdinand Catholic Church and the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand.