Thomas K. Scallen
Born August 14, 1925 died peacefully at home on March 21, 2015, sent on his next adventure with love by his wife, family, friends, and his faithful dog Bella.
Tom’s unique and colorful life can be matched by few. He was a lawyer, entrepreneur, businessman, and impresario. Tom brought entertainment and joy to many through a career that spanned law, banking, business, ice skating and other arena shows, professional sports, theater, television, and film.
Tom was proud graduate of Saint Thomas Academy high school. Immediately after graduation, Tom and his twin brother Raymond enlisted in the US Army to serve in World War II, becoming members of “the Greatest Generation.”Tom was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and a Bronze Star, for heroic or meritorious conduct in combat in Europe. After returning to Minneapolis, Tom married Mary Semsch, the mother of his six children. They moved to Denver, where Tom received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Denver. Tom returned to Minnesota to practice law. He first served as a state Assistant Attorney General, and later went into private practice at Scallen, Evidon and Harder with his father, renowned trial lawyer Raymond Scallen.
In the early 1960s, Tom began a long and successful career in business. From 1962 to 1965 he was Senior Vice President and Managing Officer of the Olmstead County Bank of Rochester, MN, President of the Lake City Bank of Lake City, MN; and, from 1964 to 1969, the founder, President, and CEO of the Bank of Minneapolis.
As Tom built his banking career, he listened to his brother Ray, by now a prominent physician, talk about the need for rental medical equipment. As a result, Tom founded and served as President and principal shareholder of Medical Investment Corporation (“Medicor”). In the late 1960s, he acquired and produced the Shipstads and Johnson Ice Follies, which he had loved since his youth, and later acquired its competitor, Holiday on Ice. The early 1970s represented one of the pinnacles of Tom’s career. Tom became the founder and President of the Vancouver Canucks Hockey Team and a member of the NHL Board of Governors. He was appointed as a Senior Vice President, Executive Committee Member, and Director of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, as well as Chairman of the Blaine Thompson Company, a leading New York theater advertising firm.
In the 1980s, Tom became President and CEO of International Broadcasting Corporation (“IBC”), through which he acquired and produced the Ice Capades and the Harlem Globetrotters. Contemporaneously, Tom served as Chairman and owner of Apache Plastics, Inc., and Airport Express. Tom was also Chairman of Century Park Pictures Corporation. He was a proud member of the Producer’s Guild of America, carefully screening and voting each year on nominees for the Academy Awards.
Tom took great pleasure in producing and directing the following television and live entertainment shows: the Rockette’s Holiday Salute to Radio City Music Hall for NBC; six television specials for the Ice Follies; three television specials for the Ice Capades; and five live shows for Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. To round out his entertainment career, Tom even joined the circus for a time, as a producer and CEO of the Clyde Beatty – Cole Bros. Circus.
In the later stage of his career, Tom took great pride and satisfaction in his ownership of the Lexington Restaurant (the “Lex”) and the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. He took special care to maintain their character and continued the quality, reputation, and class of these venerable Twin Cities institutions.
In 1990, he married Bille Jo Brice. They enjoyed 25 years together—travelling the world and entertaining their many friends and family members.
Tom was a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, the World Presidents’ Organization, and the American, Minnesota, and Hennepin County Bar Associations.
Tom is survived by his loving wife Bille Jo, his twin brother Dr. Raymond Scallen(Mary),as well as younger brothers Stephen Scallen(Chacke) and Terrence Scallen(Joan);his children: Thomas Scallen (Mary Beth) Sheila Gregory, Patrick Scallen (Margo), Eileen Scallen (Marianne), Maureen Failor (Greg), and Timothy Scallen (Katy); his grandchildren: Bridget(Peter), Meghan, Brian(Amanda), Kevin, Patrick, Michael (Julie), Sean, Daniel, Jack, Conor, Annie (Shawn),Molly, Paul, Brad (Katie), Lisa (Rick),Timothy, Catherine, Erin, and Colleen; and eight great-grandchildren.
Tom’s family would like to give special thanks to his hospice nurse, Mary Anne Reed, and his caregivers Irene Wissell, Christina Tugbe, and Erwin Yango.
Mass of Christian Burial Thursday March 26, 2015 12 PM at the Basilica of St. Mary, 88 North 17th Street Minneapolis. Visitation Wednesday 4-8 PM at Gill Brothers Funeral Home, 5801 Lyndale Ave. So. and one hour prior to Mass at church.
Memorials preferred to Saint Thomas Academy, Animal Humane Society or Donor’s choice.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 612 861 6088