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About William T. Molden

William Thomas Molden “Tom” was born January 2, 1944 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the son of James Howard Molden and Louise Marie Desjarlais Molden.  He was the fourth   of six children. His mother had six children in five years. A rarity for the time, his parents divorced and life was very difficult for a single mother.

Also, Louise was a hemophiliac, very sick and bedridden much of the time. She reached a point where she could not care for her children and had to send them to live in a Catholic Orphanage for about six months or a year. Tom did not finish high school and enlisted in the military instead where his entrance exams indicated that he had an IQ high enough to be a brain surgeon but he took a field position in Texas. While there, he met and married Margie Marie Fleming and made Texas his home. They had three children Doug, Kellie and Sandi.

They raised their children to be generous and to think of those that had less than they did. When we would ask him for money for our activities, he would often respond by asking us  “What do the poor kids do?” He asked them this in reflection of his own childhood, to make us think about those that can’t afford to be in activities, and to instill the appreciation of a hard earned dollar.

Tom loved to do random acts of kindness for people. At Christmas time he would often find local needy families and send his children to buy them groceries and presents. One Christmas Eve he went through the drive through at Dairy Queen, the lady came across the speaker to get his order. He said that he wanted a $.99 cent hamburger. She asked if he would like cheese and he asked if it cost extra. She said $.25 cents. Being a good steward of his money, he said no thanks a quarter is too much for a piece of cheese. He pulled up to the window and got his food. Then he asked the lady how many people were working, handed her a $100 dollar bill, told her to divide the difference between them and drove off.

In the same giving spirit that Tom had, his daughter Sandi Keeney brought a group of people together in 2005, and together they began providing scholarships to disadvantaged children. Trying to decide what to name the scholarship took some time, but while Sandi was on a trip to their family farm in the country and was thinking about her dad, she thought, “Ya know dad… the poor kids hope that a father like you will say things like that to your children and that it will stick. It is because of you that I want to give to those less fortunate, and without your influence I would have never thought to reach out to these kids. ” That is when we decided naming the scholarship after Tom was perfect. From his own childhood, he knew what it was like to live in an orphanage. Tom was kind, generous and would have loved the work that we are doing.