Thomas “Snappy” Allen Catron, 65, of Adel, passed away May 1, 2020 of COVID-19 related complications following heart surgery.

A graveside service will be held at Panther Creek Cemetery west of Adel on Saturday, May 9, 2020, at 2 p.m. observing social distancing guidelines. Due to COVID-19 conditions, a Celebration of Life will be held at Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home – McCalley Chapel in Adel at a later date.

Tom was born in Springfield, IL to Arthur Henry and Zelma Charlene Catron on May 23, 1954. In his youth Tom helped raise numerous farm animals on his small family farm. He wrestled and played football at Saydel High, where he met his future wife, and graduated as a member of the class of 1972. Tom began working for Northwestern Bell as a lineman in 1973, where he earned his alias, Snappy, during a demonstration of brute strength. The company changed names many times, but Tom served as a loyal employee for 43 years.

Tom traveled all over Iowa and occasionally worked projects out of state, notably in Houston, Texas and Flagstaff, Arizona. Tom’s travels made him an expert navigator. His knowledge of Iowa’s rural back roads and urban alleyways was unrivaled. Long before digital navigation, Tom was frequently called on to provide routes for confused travelers, always suggesting a scenic route over the faster option.

Tom moved to Adel in 1980 where he raised his family and managed his hobby farm. He was an avid outdoorsman. He could often be found at the farm tending to his flock, splitting wood and managing his inventory of acquired wonders. He loved hosting family and friends for pig roasts and holiday parties.

In retirement Tom was instrumental in building his namesake family business, Snappy’s Stick Fire BBQ, with his sons. When he was present, BBQ patrons were treated to animated conversation over the crackle of the wood fire behind him. Tom had a rich soothing voice, a quick welcoming smile and a knack for conversation on nearly any topic with nearly anybody.

In his later years, particularly near Christmas, Tom would inspire awe from children who saw him in public and truly believed Santa was watching. His gentle nature, quick wit, kindness and willingness to help those around him will be greatly missed.

Tom is survived by his wife of 40 years, Terry Jane of rural Adel; son Alex (Karen) Catron of Adel; son Andrew Catron of West Des Moines; daughter-in-law Kindra Catron; grandchildren, Madison, Casey, Caden, Calvin and Carmen Catron; siblings Shirley Cochran of Omaha, NE, and Jerry Catron of Golden, CO; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father Arthur Henry Catron; mother Zelma Charlene Catron; and his sons Jeremy Allen, and Casey Everett Catron.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family for a future designation. Online condolences may be left at