Cover photo for Thomas Motherway's Obituary
Thomas Motherway Profile Photo
1928 Thomas 2022

Thomas Motherway

February 17, 1928 — November 15, 2022

Eagan, MN and formerly Hibbing, MN

Thomas Motherway, 94, of Eagan and formerly Hibbing Minnesota, died at Shaller Family Sholom East Campus hospice in St. Paul, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022.

Born on Feb. 17, 1928, in north Hibbing, Minn., Tom was the 10th of 11 children and the last surviving child of the late Catherine (“Kate”) and William Richard (Will) Motherway.

Tom started with the Hibbing Police Department in 1959 as a patrolman and worked in every position in the department until his appointment as police chief in 1972. He served as chief until 1983, when he was appointed Director of Emergency Services (now Homeland Security and Emergency Management) for the state of Minnesota by the late former Minnesota Gov. Rudy Perpich. Tom served as emergency services director until his retirement in 1991.

As a youth, Tom was a talented athlete in football, basketball and track and played in the very first Minnesota North-South high school all-star football game. Throughout his law enforcement career and into his retirement, Tom was fondly remembered for his big-hearted generosity, his love of a good story, and the immense joy he found in his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Tom was preceded in death by his beloved wife Mary Margaret (Mema) Farwell-Motherway, originally of Duluth, MN; his daughter Constance Perpich formerly of Shoreview, Minn.; and his parents and 10 siblings.

Tom is survived by his children, Kelley (Tom) Stoneburner of Mendota Heights, MN; Kate (Tom) Ritzer of Roseville, MN; Mary (Paul) Voigt of Mendota Heights, MN; Gail Wester of San Diego, Calif., Michael (Terri) Motherway of Chicago, Ill; and Patrick Motherway of Tonka Bay, MN. His 11 grandchildren Greg, Jacqueline, Michael Thomas, Jimmy, Ellie, Natalie, Bridget, Mariana, John, Thomas, Emmett, and 3 great-grandchildren, Jayce, Siene and Kierian, will remember the love and fun their “Poppa” enjoyed with them.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 26, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hibbing preceded with a 10 a.m. church visitation. Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be directed to Blessed Sacrament Church, Hibbing.  Arrangements are with the Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing.

To leave an online message of condolence, please visit us at;

The Motherway family would like to thank the staff at Shaller Family Sholom East Campus hospice, St. Paul, and Stonehaven of Eagan Senior Living.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Motherway, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, November 26, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)



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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church (Hibbing)


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