February 1, 1973 – November 10, 2023
Memorial Mass of Christian Burial for Thomas Delong, 50, of Ft. Yates will be at 11 AM, Friday, November 17, 2023 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Ft. Yates. Inurnment will be at the church cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. A procession will leave Kesling Funeral Home at 9 AM Friday. Visitation will be from 3-5 PM, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at Kesling Funeral Home in Mobridge. Thomas passed away Friday, November 10, 2023, at Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck.
Then I heard the voice of the lord saying, ” Whom shall I send? and who will go for us?” and I said, ” Here i am, send me!”- Isaiah 6:8
Thomas Michael Delong was born in Fort Yates ND on February 1st, 1973, to Robert L Delong & Cora M Miner. Thomas gained the nickname “TM” almost as soon as he was born. Growing up, TM was just like any other rambunctious child as He enjoyed the outdoors and developed a love for fishing. He would spend hours along the banks of the Missouri river catching anything he could set his hook in. The lure of fast cars and ATVs also captured the imagination of TM as he was always eager to “go for a ride”.
TM began his early education years at Selfridge Elementary school, until he completed the 9th grade. TM dabbled in basketball for Selfridge, where he proudly wore the orange and black, in honor of being a “Chieftain”. Tm continued and completed his high school education at Standing rock High School in Fort Yates ND, graduating in 1991.
After high school the call to become a public servant started his career. He became an ambulance driver and 1st responder with Standing Rock EMS services. This further ignited his desire to serve his community as he accepted a position with Standing Rock Police Department. His law enforcement career was where he found his niche’ and strived to become the best he could be. Thomas served as a court bailiff first, then a correctional officer and dispatcher. His biggest career goal came to fruition when he graduated from the North Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1998. Thomas was then sworn in as a full-time police officer with Standing Rock Police Department.
In this time, he once again earned another nickname (“Law Dog”) from loving family and friends. TM was always eager to answer the call to serve, becoming a trusted and recognized member of the communities.
In 2014, TM furthered his law enforcement career by accepting a position with Standing Rock Game & Fish as a School Resource Officer. There he would eventually becoming a full time Ranger with the agency. In 2022 Thomas was named Conservation Officer of the Year by the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society.
With all these career accomplishments it was nothing that compared to his real love, his children and grandchildren. TM loved being a father and grandfather. He always tried his absolute best to provide and show his love for them.
TM will always be remembered for his huge smile, full beard at a young age, burly presence and loving heart. TM was a man of simple tastes as he loved fishing, Copenhagen, coffee, slot machines, The Pittsburgh Steelers, watching the weather, 80s movies 80s music and especially Christmas.
Thomas Michael Delong passed away on November 10th, 2023, surrounded by his family. He will forever be loved and missed by his family and friends.
He is survived by his 3 children (Jordan, Thomas and Ty) along with numerous siblings, cousins and grandchildren.
He is proceeded in death by mother Cora Miner, Aunt Flora Walking Elk, Sister Lee Halsey , grandmother Florence Halsey and uncles, Lawrence Good Iron, Phillip Halsey, Joseph Halsey and Thomas Halsey
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