Thomas (Tom) Wallner


Thomas (Tom) Wallner passed away November 26, 2023, at the age of 74.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, December 1, at Church of St. Anne, Bismarck, ND.  The family will be receiving guests one hour prior to the service.   Burial will be scheduled for a later date in Grafton, ND.

Thomas D. Wallner was born September 20, 1949, to Donald Wallner and Ann Marie (Koppinger) Wallner in New England North Dakota. In 1960 his family moved to Richardton, ND where he graduated from Assumption Abbey High School in 1967.  He continued his education at NDSU in Fargo, graduating in 1971. He then relocated to Bismarck to begin his professional work career beginning with United Tribes of North Dakota. In 1973 he began what turned out to be a 35-year career in North Dakota state government. He worked in planning and program administration for a number of state agencies, retiring from the Department of Human Services in 2008.

As much as he treasured his NDSU experience, that remained the second-best thing he took away from Fargo. It was in Fargo where he met his wife to be, Sandra Christine Stark. They married in 1972 and she joined him in Bismarck where they settled. Over their years in Bismarck, they made many friends and enjoyed a rich social life. Tom was a 50 year plus member of the Bismarck Elks, a charter member of the Bismarck Alumni Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity and was an especially proud member of NDSU Team Makers. He attended many Bison football games and was able to stay connected to friends from his college days at pregame tailgating and game watch parties. Tom spent countless hours in his man cave working out, shooting pool, tossing darts and practice putting. He enjoyed golf, especially on those rare occasions when he played it well. The golf course always won but whether he played well or not, he always had great times with his golf group at the 19th hole. For both fitness and recreation, he took up bicycle riding and for many years he was a familiar sight on the Pebble Creek bike trails.

Tom and his son Brian shared an interest in sports and had many conversations and debates regarding current sports events. Over the years Brian became Tom’s go-to sports expert and he could always count on Brian to keep him up to speed on sports world developments. Tom and Sandy enjoyed many a summertime evening relaxing on their deck playing Scrabble, Yahtzee and Rummikub while enjoying their favorite refreshments and observing stunning North Dakota sunsets.

Tom is survived by his wife Sandy; his son, Brian (Molly) of whom he was especially proud and his sweet granddaughter, Jemma.  He also leaves 2 brothers, Jon (Patricia) of Philadelphia, PA and Patrick (Suzy) of Booth Bay Harbor Maine; former sister-in-law, Bonnie Wallner of Newark Delaware; brothers-in-law, Roger (Sandy) Stark of Grafton, ND and Steve Stark of Grand Forks, ND and 4 nephews: David (Sara) Wallner, Mark Wallner, Ryer (Katie) Stark, and Kody (Priscilla) Stark. He also has nine great nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister, Shirley; sister-in-law, Valerie Stark; and a niece, Abby Stark.

Tom’s preference was for memorials to be directed to the NDSU Alumni Foundation and to the Central Dakota Humane Society.


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Rest in Peace, Cousin Tom. Many fond memories.

From the youngest cousin to the oldest, farewell and bon voyage. Life . . . you lived it well. We will remember you fondly. Love and prayers to Sandy and Family.

Sandy + Brian + extended family – sending you all peace, love and prayers. We have such fond memories of Tom, and we will miss his humor, and his genuine friendship to so many, including my parents. Hugs.

Sandy and Brian,
Sending prayers and love to you two and your extended family. Cheryl and I remember so many great times we shared as young couples . I too went to school at the Abbey my first two years of college. Tom and I shared stories about many mutual friends we had in the Richardton area.

Sandy and Brian
Sorry for your loss
Our prayer go out to you and family
Allan and Jan Rogneby

Sandy and Brian
Our deepest sympathy to you.

Dear Family…..I was unaware of and sorry I missed Tom’s funeral. I have very fond memories of Tom when very young. May he rest in peace.

Sandy and Brian, you both have my deepest sympathy on your great loss of your husband and father. I enjoyed so much working with you both at the NDDOT. God Bless and peace be with you.