Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, Friday January 20, 2023, age 77.
Tom was born on March 16, 1945 to the late Effie and Albert “Red” Villa.
Beloved husband of Karen Ann Villa (Harvey) for 52 years, brother of Jack Villa (Suzy) and Jane Villa. He is preceded in death by his sister Judy Villa Bersche. Tom was a great uncle to his many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.
Tom never met a stranger. He was kind, thoughtful, loyal, generous and helpful to everyone he encountered.
He had a great sense of humor and loved playing practical jokes on his many friends.
Tom graduated from St. Louis University, received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and later attended the John F. Kennedy School Of Government at Harvard University.
After teaching High School English, Tom was called to continue in his father’s footsteps. Tom was first and foremost a servant of the people – politics was simply a means to a life of service.
Tom had more friends and helped more people than one can count. Tom was known for his quick wit, colorful suits, and no BS approach to government. Tom didn’t know a stranger and anyone who thought they were a political or policy opponent of Tom was quickly swayed by his charm, logic and commitment to service. Tom was an old school politician who was a role model and mentor for so many. His Nephew Matt was inspired by Tom and served as the 11th Ward Alderman from 1997-2011.
Tom served as a Missouri State Representative from 1974-1984 representing South St. Louis City and also served as Majority Floor Leader. He again served as a State Representative from
2000-2008. From 1987-1995 Tom served as the President of the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen. Tom also served as the St. Louis Director of Public Safety; he was a member of Mayor Schoemehl’s cabinet; was the Director of Governmental Relations for Mayor Harmon; and closed out his lifetime of service returning to his roots as the 11th ward alderman from 2011-2017.
Tom served on many Boards, including The Airport Commission, East West Gateway, Landmarks Association, Jefferson National Parks Association, Incarnate Word Foundation and Carondelet Community Betterment Federation.
Tom was a lifelong member of St. Stephen Protomartyr Parish in South St. Louis City.
Tom was blessed with a sudden and peaceful death, leaving behind those who mourn the passing of a beloved legend.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to St. Vincent de Paul Society at Stephen Protomartyr, 3949 Wilmington, St. Louis, MO 63116.
There will be a funeral Mass at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Church, 4900 Ringer Rd., 63129, on Saturday, January 28, at 10:00 am. Visitation will be Friday, January 27 from 3:00-9:00, at Kutis in Affton, at 10151 Gravois Rd. 63123.