Funeral Mass for Thomas Potocnik will be 11:00 am Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in Aurora with Fr. Peter Lambert celebrating. Visitation will be one hour prior to mass at the church. Inurnment will be in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Aurora at a later date. Arrangements are by the Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Aurora. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.
Thomas James Potocnik, 85, of Aurora died Friday, February 21, 2020 at the Fairview Range Medical Center in Hibbing.
He was born on March 7, 1934 to Joseph and Helen (Skule) Potocnik in Gilbert. He attended school in Gilbert, graduating from the Gilbert High School, Class of 1952. Following high school, Thomas worked with his father at the Elcor Mercantile. He later went into business with his uncle, Michael Potocnik. Together they owned and operated the Potocnik Big Dollar Supermarket in Aurora until the store closed in 1985. Thomas finished his career retiring from Zup’s in the early 1990’s. He was a member of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, having served as a parish trustee, the former Moose Lodge and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. Thomas enjoyed hunting, fishing, blueberry picking, playing cards (especially SMEAR), and recycling of which he ran a small business. Thomas took the greatest pleasure in spending time with his grandchildren. Thomas was a caring and compassionate man. He will be remembered for telling stories of his beloved childhood dog, Bobo.
Survivors include his five children: Thomas John (Valerie) Potocnik of Hibbing, Helen (Randy) Shackelton of Rancho Cordova, CA, William Potocnik of the Twin Cities, Jennifer Potocnik of Duluth, and Fredrick Potocnik of Chicago, IL; stepchildren: Barbara (Duane O’ Connell) Matson, Donna Grandahl, Patricia (Dale) Harju and Kerry (Mary) Sopoci; nine grandchildren: Alicia (Chad Stuhr) Buechler, Emily (Caleb) James, Stephanie (Hudson Jivery) Potocnik, William (Lindsay) Shackelton, Christian (Ivy) Potocnik, Ian Potocnik, and Giovanna, Johanna, and Vivianna Potocnik; six great grandchildren; one brother, Anthony (Carol) Potocnik of Lakeland, FL; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wives: Barbara and Beverly; siblings: infant sister, Margaret, Helen Grizzard, and Raymond “Buddy”, Edward, and Donald Potocnik.
Thomas’s family wishes to thank Dr. Kasey Kapella of the Fairview Mesaba Clinic in Hibbing for the wonderful and compassionate care she provided their father.