Other than attending and graduating from nearby Mankato (MN) Commercial College, Tom Erpelding is a pure-bred Hawkeye. Growing up on a farm, he spent his entire youth and business career in Iowa, where he attended a small school in LuVerne and played baseball, graduating with a class of only 23. After earning an Associate Degree in Accounting in 1968, Tom joined a regional CPA firm back in central Iowa.
He earned his CPA certificate in 1971 and formed his own small accounting firm three years later in Algona, Iowa. In 1979, he and a partner formed Erpelding, Voight & Company, a regional firm based in Algona, that grew over the years to include a staff of 34 including 22 CPAs. Tom served as managing partner of that firm, which specialized in tax preparation, business and estate planning, with a focus on agricultural-related businesses. He managed that very successful firm for 33 years until his retirement in 2012.
Tom and his wife Connie became Sun Lakes snowbirds after his retirement. Sadly, Connie was diagnosed with multiple myeloma shortly thereafter; she lost her two-year battle with the disease in 2015. Happily, her legacy lives on through their four children and seven grandkids. The family is now spread out: Boise, Chicago, Las Vegas and Minneapolis, but that gives Tom a variety of places to visit. He’s also maintained their home in Algona.
When the kids were younger, Tom coached both the boys’ and girls’ baseball and softball teams. Later he was assistant varsity coach for the Algona High girls’ softball team for four years, then varsity coach for another 10 years. In addition, he was a softball umpire for area middle school, freshmen and JV games. To round out his baseball and softball interests, he himself played in local city leagues. He’s now in his fifth year of Sun Lakes senior softball where he’s a solid outfielder and line-drive hitter in our Lakes Division.
Besides baseball and softball, Tom’s two other major interests are oldies music and cars. He loves concerts and is a collector of old vinyl 45’s and 33’s. His most impressive collection, however, is his classic cars: How about a 1957 Chevy, 1957 T-Bird, 1955 Mercury, 1964 Pontiac GTO, 1964 Chevy Impala Super Sport and 1971 Cadillac Eldorado (all but the Super Sport are convertibles)! These beauties “live” in his heated and air-conditioned “shop” back in Algona which is decorated with all types of car and road-related signs and other collectibles. As you may guess, Tom also loves to attend auto shows and auctions, including the annual Barrett-Jackson and Russo-Steele events in Scottsdale.
Tom returns to Iowa each summer where he does a lot of tinkering in his shop and gets to drive his classics around the area. He also makes trips to Minneapolis to visit a son and “coincidentally” take in a few Twins’ baseball games!
Retirement is obviously different than what Tom had planned, but he’s still enjoying his hobbies, his interests and his life and loves spending time with his growing family.