Thomas Henry Dorwart
The Honorable Thomas Henry Dorwart, 89, passed away on April 28, 2019, in Sidney, Nebraska.
Tom, the son of Dr. Thomas Yule and Virginia Florentine (Greene) Dorwart, was born on September 10, 1929, in Lexington, Nebraska. Following the death of his mother, Virginia, his father married Ellen (Vaughn) Howell.
After graduating from Lexington High School, Tom served as a Naval Aviation Cadet in the NAVCAD formal training program of the U.S. Navy before joining the United States Marine Corps where he honorably served. He graduated from Creighton University, B.S., and received his Juris Doctorate from the University Of Nebraska College Of Law. On June 8, 1963, he was united in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony to Patricia Slattery of Weeping Water, Nebraska.
Before becoming an attorney, he worked as a telephone lineman. Following legal careers with the Nebraska Department of Roads, the Nebraska Department of Insurance, and private law practice, he was appointed as Cheyenne County Judge where he served for 29 years. During his time on the bench he founded the Cheyenne County Drug Court, served as President of the County Judges Association, was a member of the Nebraska Commission for the Protection of Children and the Nebraska Coalition for Juvenile Justice. He was a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, the Tenth-Circuit Federal Bar Association, and the United States Supreme Court.
Outside the judicial realm, Tom was a devout Catholic, an avid reader, enjoyed telling stories, cooking, antique cars, vintage-tractor pulls, playing cribbage, and was a Master Gardner and Master Beekeeper. He was a proud participant in the American Legion, VFW, Cheyenne County Sweet Corn Club, the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, FMC, American Mensa International, the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, Knights of Columbus, the Maiwand Jezails (a Scion Society of the Baker Street Irregulars), Commissioner of the Nebraska Boy Scouts, and a breakfast club regular. Most of all, Tom cherished his time with family and friends.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Patricia, son Thomas Yule (Colleen) Dorwart, daughter Virginia Ellen Splichal, daughter Katherine Ann (Mark) Lewallen, sister Suzanne (Dr. Anthony) Wolfe, grandchildren Ashley Ann, J.D., and Elizabeth Dorwart, Sarah-Kate, Burke, and Audrey Splichal, Thomas, Amelia, and James Lewallen, and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Thomas and Virginia Dorwart, and Ellen and Lon Howell, and his brother Robert Yule and wife Mary (Lewelling) Dorwart.
A Holy Rosary will be prayed on Friday, May 3, 2019, at 2:00 pm, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1039 14th Avenue, Sidney, Nebraska. The family has requested a private burial with Military Honors. In lieu of flowers, Tom requested memorial contributions be made to: St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Nebraska; the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in Valparaiso, Nebraska; or St. Patrick Rummage House in Sidney, Nebraska. In accordance of Tom’s wishes, a reception for family and friends will begin at 5:00 pm on Friday, May 3, 2019, at the Sidney Elks Lodge #1894, 1040 Jackson Street, Sidney, Nebraska. Friends may view Tom’s Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at www.gehrigstittchapel.com. Gehrig-Stitt chapel & Cremation Service is in charge of Tom’s care and funeral arrangements.