Despite his short stature, Tom was bigger than life. People describe Tom as kind-hearted with
an infectious smile. He thrived on making others laugh and was known for his quick wit and
incessant teasing, a sign of his affection for anyone on the receiving end. Whether he was
pretending to be the Incredible Hulk for his nieces and nephews, dressing up in old plaid bellbottoms
to meet his daughter’s date, or re-arranging Christmas decorations on a friend’s lawn,
he was constantly causing people to shake their heads and laugh.
He had a brilliant mind and vast knowledge. If you were around him long enough, you’d surely
hear one of his history lessons or learn about some random fact. His mind and body were in
Tom was born in Great Falls, Montana to Edward and Dorothy Lorang. He was the oldest of
four, and the only boy. His father relied on him to help with the farm and ranch, where he
drove tractors and cared for the cattle. Tom would tell you that he was the smartest kid in his
class, but he wouldn’t disclose that he was the only kid in his class at McCumber School, a one-room.
schoolhouse. He attended Great Falls Central for high school where he met many lasting
friends who continue to be an important part of his life to this day.
Tom left to get his math and engineering degrees in the combo program where he spent three
years at Carroll College and the final two at Montana State in Bozeman. He thrived on
adventure, so it was no surprise that he was on the boxing team at Carroll and rode bulls on the
rodeo team at Montana State.
He met the love of his life at Carroll. One snowy day, Carol Carr was walking to class when she
slipped and fell on the ice. Tom just happened to be there to gather her books and help her up,
likely giving her that million-dollar smile. Carol was embarrassed and quickly ran off to class. But
the handsome stranger left a lasting impression. She later asked him to the Sadie Hawkins
Dance, and the rest is history. They were married on June 21, 1969 at St. Mary’s Catholic
Church in Helena and have enjoyed 52 years together.
During his final year in college, Tom decided to pursue his dream of joining the Air Force to
become a pilot after graduation. Unfortunately, he failed his eye exam when he learned he was
color blind, a trait he passed down to three of his grandsons. It finally made sense to those
around him why he dressed in such strange color combinations! He instead took an engineering
job with Texaco Oil Company in Anacortes, Washington.
Tom became a father in 1971 when his son Doug was born. Tom was meant to be a dad, and he
relished the time spent with his kids. He was always guiding and teaching his children, showing
them the ropes in life. Doug would follow Tom everywhere, helping him fix things around the
house. His daughter Diana was born in 1973, and she immediately had her dad wrapped around