Mike Tuohy
Mike Tuohy
F. Mike Tuohy has been named as the honorary grand marshal of Chatfield's 2014 Western Days parade.

He was the third child in a large family of 15. He explained he had five sisters and nine brothers and they grew up in Chatfield.

The lifelong Chatfield resident recalled, "I was born to Joseph and Teresa Tuohy in March 1936 at Saint Marys Hospital, and I attended Chatfield Public School and later, Loras College."

He said he really enjoyed school and his favorite subjects were math, English with Helen Isensee, choir, industrial arts with Wayne Stevens, art, and biology with Bob Hurley.

His career began when he was in junior high, and for the rest, he learned the art of making furniture and taking on a successful business.

"I started with a Minneapolis Star Tribune paper route. When I was 13, I worked at Hervey Implement as a parts boy, and at age 14, I started at Lynch's Grocery and Dry Goods as grocery delivery boy and did all the jobs in a grocery store," Tuohy explained. "At age 16, I started at TUOHY (Furniture) after school and summers - I started full time at TUOHY in 1955. I liked all the jobs I have had as long as there is a lot to do and accomplish."

He has four children from his first marriage - Tori, Dan, Katy and Michael. "Tori attended St. Benedict's and managed showrooms for TUOHY, sold real estate and is now an interior designer. Dan, on graduating from St. Thomas University, worked for CitiBank as a senior financial analyst, then came to TUOHY, and is president and CEO. Katy is a graduate of St. Thomas, managed a TUOHY showroom, has managed many charitable events in Waterloo, and now owns and manages a gift shop, For Goodness Sake, and Michael graduated from St. Thomas University and is now vice president and COO at TUOHY."

Mike Tuohy is now married to Gina and retired from TUOHY 13 years ago, only stopping in to pick up his mail.

Retirement has found him just as busy as when he was in charge at TUOHY, as he has been a part of numerous charitable and civic organizations, including the Chatfield Fire Department, Chatfield's city council, planning and zoning commission, economic development authority and a member and chairman of the Fillmore County Planning and Zoning Commission.

He has also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House for eight years, was part of the St. Mary's Catholic Church parish council, served on the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association for 10 and a half years - two and a half as chairman.

He has also held positions on the Minnesota Technology Board, the Governor's Council on Forestry, the Chosen Valley Golf Club and Rochester Golf & Country Club boards. He has sat on the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center board of directors, served as a Boy Scout leader and foundation chair at the Gamehaven Boy Scout Council and on the Federal Reserve Small Business Advisory Board, as well as other organizations.

Currently, he is a part of the Chosen Valley Community Foundation, a member of the Chatfield School Board, chairman of Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) and a member of the Chatfield Center for the Arts advisory board.

He commented, "I have always tried to stay involved in the community and area happenings. I like to get things accomplished without much notice to anyone. In my spare time, I love working in our yard and woods, we boat, I still ski in the winter, ride bike and hike. We have bees, work on wild flowers and love the outdoors."

He and Gina share time with the grandchildren as well. "I have eight grandchildren - two graduated from college this year, three are in college and three are in the Chatfield school system."

As for living in Chatfield he stated, "It is home and always has been."

Being chosen to ride in the Western Days parade as honorary grand marshal pleases him.

"I think of all the wonderful people who have had this honor, and am happy to join such a group," Tuohy concluded. "Our community work has always been there for someone to accomplish. May there be more years and people in our future to accomplish this."