Thomas Tiemann

Obituary of Thomas Tiemann

Please share a memory of Thomas to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.

Thomas Tiemann, the second child of Ruth and Robert Tiemann, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Tom initially grew up in St. Louis, but the family relocated to New Jersey in 1951 when Anheuser-Busch, Mr. Tiemann’s employer, transferred him to its new Newark plant. From his father’s long career with Anheuser-Busch and Pabst, Tom gained an appreciation of the brewing industry and its products. Tom’s mother was from a long line of ministers. That family heritage led Tom to develop a strong faith and a commitment to the United Church of Christ and its institutions. Ruth and Bob were loving and supportive parents.


Tom graduated from Ladue High Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1970. Tom’s years at Dartmouth shaped him, intellectually, socially, and politically. He retained a love of Dartmouth all his days. Tom earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Vanderbilt University. It was also at Vanderbilt that he met his wife, Eileen McGrath.


Tom and Eileen started their professional careers at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1984 Tom began his long career at Elon University, where over time he was dean of the business school, director of the general studies program, director of the business fellows program, and Jefferson-Pilot Professor of Economics. Tom never thought that equations could tell the full story of our economic lives. He was always paying attention to the choices that communities and individuals make. The end of the Soviet Union opened up a new area of interest for Tom. He studied how several former Soviet Bloc countries, especially Poland, transitioned their economies. He encouraged his students to engage with the larger world by leading classes of students on study trips to Eastern Europe, and by developing an Elon business school dual-degree program with two European universities.


In retirement, Tom read, gardened, and served on community and church boards. He was a trustee at Eden Seminary in St. Louis for over a decade. Family was important to Tom; the great sadness of the past few years was the deaths of his beloved sister Liz and her husband, John Howard. Tom died at his home in Carrboro on December 21. Tom is survived by his immediate family: Eileen McGrath, Jane Tiemann, Bob Tiemann, and Jonathan Tiemann, and their spouses. Tom also had great love for his nieces and nephews Owen Rundall, Anne Fahlgren, Rob Howard, Maggie Hong, Amelia Tiemann, and Sarah Tiemann.


There will be a memorial service for Tom at a later date at United Church of Chapel Hill. Friends who wish to make a gift in Tom’s memory may direct donations to Eden Theological Seminary, 475 East Lockwood Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119 or United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.


Share Your Memory of