Thomas J. "Tom" Bales (41) of Shumway


Published on March 15 2019 8:50 am

Thomas J. "Tom" Bales, 41, of Shumway died Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 16 at Bauer Funeral Home in Effingham with visitation being held from 11:00 a.m. to time of service. Online condolences may be expressed by clicking here.

Tom was born July 30, 1977 in Effingham, Illinois to parents Bob and Connie Bales. He was raised in Shumway, Illinois. In his time growing up, Tom made numerous great friends, and went off on many wild adventures. Tom graduated from Beecher City High School, and went on to Lake Land College and Eastern Illinois University. He was employed by Lake Land College, working in the Print Shop.

In continuing in his search for a little adventure, Tom found himself out in the middle of a frozen lake in the Rocky Mountains. Down on one knee, in the snow, Tom proposed to Billie Ruffner, the love of his life. The couple married on January 28th, 2006. They enjoyed attending Mason Christian Church. The two of them loved to travel and try new things, often times consisting of a rundown barbecue shack in search of the best rib tips to be found. The two of them together put great emphasis on family. Tom was always there for both of their families. Many times at the ready, with a much needed joke, a little quick wit, or some thoughtful guidance. He was a great influence on the ones who loved him.

Tom loved many things in life. Time spent with friends on fishing trips, golf outings, ball games, etc. was always cherished. He always enjoyed spending time in the outdoors. Most of all, though, Tom truly loved giving back to the community. He spent thirteen years as a volunteer on the Shumway Fire Department, and another four years on the department’s Board of Trustees. Tom also played a role in the formation of the Shumway Kluthe Center. Most recently, Tom began spending his time helping out at Ballard Nature Center, and served on the Board of Directors for the last four years. Helping others was always an important part of Tom’s life.

Tom Bales leaves behind his beloved wife of thirteen years, Billie J. Bales. He is also survived by his mother, Connie Bales of Shumway (special friend, Richard Slifer). He leaves behind two brothers, Scott (Charlene) Bales of Salem and Danny Bales of Shumway and a sister, Lisa Bales-Gentry of Shumway, as well as, nieces and nephews. He leaves behind in-laws, Gary and Judy Ruffner, Jamie Ruffner, Jacob and Marisa Ruffner, and Mike and Kylie Platt.

Tom is preceded in death by his father-Bob Bales, sister – Brenda Bales, paternal grandparents – Noah and Bernice Bales, maternal grandparents – Walter and Eleanor Buening, dear cousins – Brian Buening, Brad Buening, bonus grandparents- Gene and Betty “Granny” Ruffner.