CHARLESTON, IL – Thomas Clinton Michael, age 93 of Charleston entered his Heavenly Home on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Tom’s family will hold a private visitation with graveside services to be held at Roselawn Cemetery with Pastor Curt Weaver officiating. Memorials in his honor may be made to Dolores Michael for a scholarship to be established in his honor. Gifts may be mailed in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, Illinois 61920.
Tom was born January 14, 1927 in Coles County, Illinois a son of the late Charles Lafayette “Lafe” and Francis Olive “Ollie” (Stites) Michael. He became the husband of Dolores Robinson on July 11, 1959 in Kansas, Illinois. Surviving is Dolores, his loving and devoted wife of 60 years; three granddaughters, Teresa Eastep and husband Kevin, Amanda Starwalt and husband Chris and Melissa Wambach and husband Trevyn, all of Charleston; eight great-grandchildren, Joseph Finley, Stephanie Mitchell, Tyler, Natalie, Ryan and Dylan Starwalt, Zypher and Zellah Wambach; five great-great-grandchildren, Lacee and Kasey Finley, Nakarri Mitchell, and Aleenah and Raidyn Bennett; and several nieces and nephews. Also surviving is his extended family which included Dolores’ brothers and their families, Paul Robinson and wife Kerri of Marshall, Illinois and Don Robinson and wife Sandy of Paris, Illinois. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a daughter and son-in-law, Joyce Jo Finley and husband Charles “Chuck” Finley; and three brothers, Charles Thomas Michael, John William Michael and Bruce T. Michael.
Tom attended Charleston Schools and following his sophomore year of school and at the young age of 17, he joined the United States Navy to faithfully serve his country in World War II as a gunner aboard the USS Norman Scott. Following his discharge from the military in 1946, Tom returned home to finish high school and continue his education at Utterbacks Business College and Lake Land College. Tom served his community as a firefighter for 12 years, was the last surviving member of the Charleston Police Department from the 1950’s, and was a Building and Zoning officer. Tom was also a skilled carpenter and was a building foreman and superintendent on several area building projects including residence halls at Eastern Illinois University. Later in life, Tom would work for EIU in their Union Bookstore.
Tom was blessed with a wealth of friends, cultivated not only through his employment but as a result of the many organizations of which he was a member and supported. He has been a lifelong member of the Bushton Christian Church and he and Dolores enjoyed the fellowship of the East Harrison Street Church of God family. He was a former member of the Kansas and Charleston Masonic Lodges, the Valley of Danville Scottish Rite, the Ansar Shrine and the Corn Belt Shrine Club, and also served as a past Worthy Patron of the Kansas Order of Eastern Star. He was a former member of the American Legion and a life member of the Charleston VFW Paul McVey Post 1592 and the Charleston Moose Lodge #1388.
Tom enjoyed playing a round of golf and he and Dolores loved to ride their bicycles around town. He was a wonderful and devoted husband, dad and grandfather to a family whom he dearly loved. They will always treasure their many fond memories.
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The Graveside Service celebrating the life of Tom Michael was held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at Roselawn Cemetery in Charleston with Pastor Curt Weaver officiating. The Navy Hymn was played and following taps, the flag presentation was made by Dave Finley of the Charleston VFW Auxiliary. Tom's granddaughter, Melissa Wambach read a poem entitled "Crossing the Bar". Recorded musical selections included "In The Garden", "Go Rest High on That Mountain" and Precious Lord, Take My Hand". Pallbearers were: Kevin Eastep, Chris Starwalt, Trevyn Wambach, Tyler Starwalt, Dave Finley and Joseph Finley. Honorary Pallbearers were: Paul Robinson and Don Robinson.
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