Major Thomas A. “Tom” Stafslien, age 60, of Encinitas, CA and Fontana, WI, passed away on the evening of January 16, 2020 at his home in Wisconsin. Tom was born on May 27, 1959 in Fort Atkinson, WI to the late Philip and Glynne (Calkins) Stafslien and was raised in Janesville, WI. He married Joan Brinkmann on May 29, 1994 in Racine, WI.
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Tom served 20 years in the United States Marine Corps from 1981 to 2001 retiring with the rank of Major. He began as a Field Artillery Officer based at Camp Lejeune, NC and was deployed twice to Beirut, Lebanon, the last of which deployments provided security for search and recovery operations following the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks there. After returning to the U.S., Tom was transferred to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego, CA and served as a Series and Company Commander in enlisted recruit training, aka, Marine Corps boot camp. After MCRD, Tom attended law school at the University of Wisconsin through the Marine Corps’ Excess Leave Program, attended the Naval Justice School at Newport, RI, and thereafter, served as a Marine Corps Judge Advocate based at Camp Pendleton, CA, where he practiced criminal law. As Tom progressed through his military career he also served as the Staff Secretary for the Commanding General, 1st Marine Division, and as the Staff Judge Advocate for the 1st Force Service Support Group. Tom later received an L.L.M. in Military Law from the Judge Advocate General’s School of the Army in Charlottesville, VA, and finished his Marine Corps career as the Officer in Charge of the Legal Assistance Center at Camp Pendleton, one of the largest such offices in the Marine Corps. He earned numerous medals and commendations during his distinguished career. The patriotism he learned in the Marine Corps never left him as friends and family will attest. He was an exemplary Marine, and a role model to all with whom he served.
In addition to his law degrees, Tom achieved his bachelor’s degree from Drake University in Des Moines, IA, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Tom was a kind and gentle man with a dry sense of humor. He was devoted to his sons and serving others. He was very active with Boy Scouts of America Troop 777 in Encinitas, CA, where he served as the Advancement Chair. It was well known that Tom was an avid cook and would take over any grill with a smile on his face. As a supporter of his sons’ lacrosse team, he was the grill master at every home game to raise money for the team. He was also a CASA for Voices for Children in San Diego, CA.
He enjoyed travelling around the world with his family - from Russia to Australia and numerous places in between. A life-long golfer, he loved to golf whenever he could. He never lost his Wisconsin roots; football season was a highlight of the year watching his beloved Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.
Surviving him is his loving wife Joan and sons Ben and Jonathan. Tom was the brother-in-law to Kathy Andersen, Susan (Pat) Dolan, Dawn (Jim) Herbst and David (Kim) Brinkmann. He is also survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Tom is preceded in death by his parents.
A visitation will be held at the Steinke-Lazarczyk Family Funeral Home (515 Center Street Lake Geneva, WI) on Sunday, January 26, 2020 from 3 to 5 p.m. and again on Monday, January 27th from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. with a service at 12 p.m. Burial will follow at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union, Grove, WI. In lieu of flowers please make memorials to UW Carbone Cancer Center or Boy Scouts of America. Steinke-Lazarczyk Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Lake Geneva, WI is proudly serving the family.