Thomas C. “Tom” Elegeert, 75, of Gladstone, passed away on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at U.P. Health System – Marquette.
He was born on September 3, 1941 in Escanaba, son of Thomas and Beulah “Bee” (Bramer) Elegeert.
Tom was a lifelong resident of Delta County, graduating from Holy Name High School in 1959 and later attending Ferris State University.
Tom served in the National Guard during the Detroit Riots until his honorable discharge in 1968, where he was awarded a Qualification Badge. Tom was a member of the Rapid River Legion and Sons of the Civil War Vets.
On February 22, 1986, Tom married Gladys M. Hudson in Escanaba.
Tom participated within the county government and loved and was dedicated to the county and community which he served. He was elected County Commissioner for 32 years, serving as chair of the board for 11 of those years. He was employed as a journeyman electrician at Mead Paper Company until his retirement in 2004.
Tom was proud of his ancestry which included the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and was also a member of the Elders of the Sault Tribe.
Tom wore many hats and was many things to many people. He was passionate about genealogy and met many wonderful friends during countless hours of research. His thirst for knowledge of all things old lead him to become not only a member of the Historical Society, but also a member of the board.
He enjoyed gardening, using his heavy equipment, and was active in bee keeping. Tom loved people and helping others was always a source of enjoyment for him. He will always be fondly remembered by the words in which he lived by, “Be humble, be kind”.
Tom was passionate about his family and mentoring the children in his life. He strongly believed that if you could change one person’s life, that you could change the world.
Among survivors include his loving wife, Gladys of Gladstone; two daughters, Kim (Jack) Lagina of Howard, Renae DeFiore, of Gladstone; step son, John Broeders of Gladstone; daughter in law, Jackie Elegeert of Gladstone, son in law Chris DeFiore of Gladstone; grandchildren, Kara (Alex) Mueller, Sam Lagina, Mark (Elise) Elegeert, Breanne (David) Knowlton, Jeremy (Chrissy) Guindon, Peter (Alyssa) Elegeert, Jacob Guindon and Jonika Broeders (who viewed her grandpa as her best friend); two great grandchildren, Chelsey Knowlton and Calvin Elegeert; sister, SuzAnn (LeRoy) Rappette; three special nieces, Sally (John) Young, Rachel Berger and Stephanie Hudson; special nephew, Andrew Hudson, and a maternal aunt, Ruby Peterson; along with numerous brothers and sisters in law, cousins, nieces and nephews, and many close friends.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Bee; son, Thomas “TJ” Elegeert who passed away on April 10, 2017; step son, Milton Broeders; and his father and mother in law, Ira and Gladys Hudson.
The family will greet relatives and friends on FRIDAY, AUGUST 11TH at Grace Church, 528 28th St., Gladstone, from 3 – 5 p.m. The funeral service celebrating the life of Thomas C. Elegeert will follow at 5 p.m. with Pastor David Hanson officiating. A meal will follow the service in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to UW Foundation in memory of Thomas C. Elegeert, University of Wisconsin Foundation, US Bank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807. Funds will be directed to the Kidney Transplant Foundation where Tom received a kidney transplant in 1999.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Elegeert family.