Tom Conlon set up school board candidate Facebook page just hours before he died

Just hours before he died Sunday morning — apparently after shoveling snow at his St. Paul home — Tom Conlon set up a new Facebook page titled “Tom Conlon for School Board.”

He’d served on the St. Paul School Board for nearly 18 years before resigning last year. But in the past week, he’d told me and others that he was considering another run but wouldn’t announce until after the holidays.

His first and only entry on that Facebook page was made at 1:52 a.m. Sunday:

My successor announced her resignation from the St. Paul School Board effective Dec. 15, 2010 and the school board will appoint an interim board member for the remainder of her/my old term. I will decide on an announcement decision to run for my old seat soon. The citywide election is in November 2011, with an open August primary.
Sunday at 1:52am

Conlon was seen shoveling at 5 a.m. and then was found dead in his car a half-hour later.

He was one of a very few Republicans to be elected in St. Paul in recent decades; he’d resigned his board seat in 2009  to move to North Carolina to follow his dream of running an inn. But it didn’t work out, and he was back in St. Paul a couple of months later. He owned rental property, ran a photography business and worked as official scorer for the St. Paul Central boys basketball team.

Conlon’s funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at St. Louis King of France Catholic Church, 506 Cedar St., in downtown St. Paul. There will be no public visitation.

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