Thomas E. BroganDecember 10, 1919 ~ April 24, 2019 (age 99)
Mass of Christian Burial for Thomas E. “Tom” Brogan, 99, Norfolk, will be 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Norfolk. Reverend Dan Andrews, Reverend Dave Belt, and Reverend Kenneth Reichert will be the celebrants. Burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted by the Nebraska National Guard Honor Guard with American Legion Post 16 and VFW Post 1644 and the American Legion Riders. Visitation will be 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Monday at Home for Funerals Chapel, 708 Georgia Avenue. Home for Funerals is in charge of arrangements.
He passed away Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Care Center in Norfolk.
The son of William E. and Anna (Fox) Brogan was born at home on December 10, 1919, at Tilden. He graduated top of his class from Tilden High School in 1937. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1941, and received his law degree from the University Nebraska College of Law in 1943.
While in high school, Tom was a multi-year letterman in football (quarterback), basketball and track. In his senior year, 1937, Tom qualified for the Nebraska State Track Meet in the half mile but the school, then during the Great Depression, had no budget to send him. Tom hitchhiked from Tilden to Lincoln to run and was the first state champion from Tilden High School. The same year, Tom also won the Norfolk Track Classic in the half mile. In college, Tom played on the University of Nebraska freshman football team. Tom was on pace to earn a letter for the Nebraska track team in the spring of 1938 until he was inflicted with scarlet fever. Tom worked the summer of 1939 at the World’s Fair in New York. While in law school, he was the director of the University of Nebraska Recreation Department.
In his final semester of law school in 1943, Tom enlisted in the U. S. Army and served in the South Pacific, ultimately reaching the officer rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
Tom served with the 81st Wildcat Infantry Division of the Army in the Central and Southwest Pacific, including campaigns in the Palau Islands with the 81st Division on Anguar and the 1st Marine Division on Pelilu; he then served as Platoon Leader for Company K, 322nd Infantry; and then went to Leyte in the Philippines; he was then assigned staff duties for the invasions of Japan.
In August of 1945, Tom and his troops were in the process of loading onto ships for invasions, when the war with Japan ended. Using the same ships, they sailed to Japan as part of the Occupation Forces and landed at Aomori at the northern end of Honshu, and proceeded to disarm their sector.
When the 81st Division was deactivated, its commander, Major General Paul Mueller, became Chief of Staff to Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, Douglas MacArthur. While reporting to General Mueller in the Dai-Ichi Building in Tokyo, Tom became acquainted with General MacArthur, whose office was located next to General Mueller’s.
On the flight home from Japan on a DC-4, between Tokyo and Guam, the plane lost an engine in a severe storm, and nearly made a water landing in the Pacific Ocean. The plane ultimately was able to crash land in Guam. Tom remembered that event, as well as the surgical removal of his appendix in the open, under palm trees on Leyte. After World War II, Tom continued service as an officer with the Army’s Judge Advocate General's Corps.
Tom was employed by United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company in Omaha as a legal claims investigator from 1946 until 1949.
Tom married Agnes Jeanette (Jeanne) Gladson on November 4, 1950, at Saint Cecilia’s Cathedral in Omaha. The couple initially lived in Madison where Tom was in the private practice of law with his brother, James F. Brogan. In 1959, Tom and Jeanne moved to Norfolk where Tom relocated his law practice, first partnering in the early 1960s with James P. Monen, who became a Workers Compensation Court judge, then forming the firm of Brogan & Stafford in 1968 with Richard D. Stafford. Other lawyers at the firm over the years included Stafford, Tom’s two sons, Michael and Timothy, and Grace Honeywell. Tom retired from the practice of law in 2014, and Brogan & Stafford, P.C. continues in operation with Richard Stafford and Michael Brogan.
During his life, Tom was active in various professional law associations, was president of the Madison County Bar Association 1962-1963, president of the Ninth Judicial District Bar Association 1978-1979, and Chairman of the House of Delegates of the Nebraska State Bar Association 1980-1981. He was the City Attorney of Tilden, Nebraska for many years, as well as a director of The Tilden Bank.
Tom was also a civic-minded and social citizen of Norfolk, having belonged to the Kiwanis Club, Norfolk Elks Lodge #653, American Legion Post 16, VFW Post 1644, Norfolk Country Club, and the University Club. He served as president of the Norfolk Public Library Board, and the Norfolk Library Foundation. He and Jeanne were long-time members of Sacred Heart-Saint Mary’s Catholic Parish in Norfolk.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, and his three brothers, William, James and John. Survivors include his wife, Jeanne, of Norfolk; three children, Michael (Stephanie) Brogan of Norfolk, Mary (Kenneth) Arellano of Lincoln, and Timothy Brogan of Norfolk; grandchildren, Steven Brogan of Sherwood, Oregon, Leyna (Jesse) Saville of Hickman, Nebraska, Katie (Ryan) York of Lincoln, Rae Ann (John) Inthavong of Grand Island, and Kyle (Chasitie) Wingfield of Pendergrass, Georgia; and great-grandchildren, William, Patrick, Gracie, Rowyn, Bella, Erikson, Adalynn, Treyton and Raegan.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Tom & Jeanne Brogan Endowment Fund at Norfolk Catholic Schools, the Norfolk Library Foundation, or the Tilden-Meadow Grove Community Foundation Fund.