Thomas South of Perry


Thomas South, 95, of Perry passed away Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, at the Perry Lutheran Homes King’s Gardens in Perry, Iowa.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. at the Carris Family Funeral Home and Cremation Care in Perry. Visitation will be Monday, Sept. 11 from 1-6:30 p.m., with family present to greet friends from 4-6:30 p.m. and a Masonic Lodge service held at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry, Iowa.

Thomas Lee South was born Sept. 29, 1927, to Bert and Viola South in Harrison Township, Adair County, Iowa, near Greenfield.

He graduated from Greenfield High School and was active in sports.

In 1945 Tom volunteered for the service and served in Europe.

In 1947 he entered Buena Vista College, where he lettered in football.

In 1949, while a senior at Buena Vista, he married Patricia Stafford of Denison, Iowa.

Tom taught school for 39 years in Eldon, Mallard and Armstrong, with the last 32 years at Perry.

He was active in Perry Education Association (PEA), Iowa State Education Association and National Education Association. Tom was past president of the PEA, past president of the state Vocational Industrial Clubs of America Advisory Board and the Iowa State University Advisory Board in Industrial Education.

He was also an elder and trustee of the First Presbyterian Church and member of Masonic Lodge, BOP, Trees Forever and the Caboose Club.

While in education, he was involved with 3,986 students. Tom was always concerned and helped the less fortunate as well the talented students.

His door was always open to anyone who needed help. He loved people and the many friends he made during his lifetime here on earth. He will be missed by many.

In death he rejoins his wife, Patricia South; parents, Bert and Viola South; and sisters, Leola Koester, Betty Applegate and Jane Held.

Left to cherish Tom’s memory are his children, Paul South of Perry, Nancy (Julie Huggins) South of Des Moines and Jeffrey (Paula) South of Perry; granddaughter, Megan (Nathan) Nicol of Wichita, Kansas; and great-grandchildren, Hunter, Kayla and Wyatt Nicol of Wichita.

Memorials will be given to the Raccoon Valley Pet Rescue, First Presbyterian Church or Thomas South Scholarship Fund at Perry High School and may be left at the funeral home. Online condolences may be left at



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