Camp Courageous remembers Tom Stelzer

Tom StelzerI had the good fortune of meeting Tom Stelzer through one of Camp’s early administrative assistants, Peggy Behrends. Peggy’s husband, Russ, was Assistant Warden at the Iowa Men’s Reformatory in Anamosa, where Tom headed up Iowa Prison Industries.

During our early years, camp was very poor, and when we bought something, we did not have much money to spend, and it had to last a long time. Tom would line camp up with excellent tables, chairs, bunk beds, dressers, etc. at the best price he could give. Much of the items bought over 30-years ago, are still in use today.

Personally, Tom was our tax preparer for over 30-years. He had a personality that one could not help but love. Tom taught me the fun that comes with numbers. He loved his family and often talked about where everyone was and what they were doing. We looked forward to our annual visits in his basement. Tom brought about as much humor to our taxes as one could bring. It was a wonderful tradition.

Tom would give the shirt off his back to Camp Courageous, both personally and through Iowa Prison Industries. They didn’t come any better than Tom…he will be very dearly missed…our heart goes out to Shirley and his family… – cwb