MOILANEN THOMAS A. Age 67, formerly of L'Anse, MI passed away April 13, 2012 at home in Lake Charles, LA, surrounded by his family, after a five-year battle with renal cell carcinoma. Tom was born September 3, 1944, to Ed and Elsie (Karkanen) Moilanen of L'Anse at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hancock. Tom graduated from L'Anse High School in 1962, where he played football, basketball, sang in the chorus and played a mean trombone in the band. He was a member of several extra-curricular musical organizations such as a 15-piece "big band" and a boys' vocal double quartet that won 1st place in UP competition. He was a long-time member of the "Golden Eagles" Drum & Bugle Corps, when that group won two Michigan State championships and played during half-time of a Green Bay Packers game at Lambeau Field. He attended Northern Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University and was graduated from Wayne State University. Tom retired as president of Four Seasons Equipment Company of Louisiana after a long and successful career in the heavy equipment industry. He had a life-long fascination with airplanes and boats, owning a Lake amphibian plane which he delighted in landing on the L'Anse bay. He and Sharon lived for several years on a houseboat on the Contraband Bayou, which many exclaimed he should name the "Jesus H. Christ", because those were the words uttered by all who saw its 94' length for the first time. He was a member and past commander of Lake Charles Power Squadron. Tom was an honest and direct straight-shooter, qualities he inherited from his late father, who built homes for people on a handshake. Generous, compassionate and giving were hallmarks of his character, as well as his love of a good joke. His "crocodile smile" will be remembered by all that knew him. Of all the positions Tom held in his career, his love and devotion to his grandchildren was the job he loved most. He is survived by his wife, Sharon (Maxon) Moilanen of Lake Charles, and his sons Todd (Jennifer) of Beverly Hills, MI and Karl (Patty) of Plymouth MI, and six grandchildren. He is also survived by his step-children, Jack (Mindy) Maxon of Harrisburg, OR, Amye Griffin of Mt. Clemens, MI, Kathy (Kit) Miller of Lakeland, FL, Sharon's six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Maija (Jay) Rothenberg of Chicago, brother Rik Moilanen of L'Anse, one niece, Rowan Balagot of Austin TX and two nephews, Jordan Balagot of Los Angeles, and Dan Nestel, Salt Lake City. Celebrations of Tom's life will be held both in Lake Charles and L'Anse, MI. Tom will be sent back to his home state of Michigan for burial in L'Anse Evergreen Cemetery. Local visitation will be on today, Monday April 16, 2012 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with funeral services at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday April 17, 2012 at Johnson Funeral Home. Words of comfort to the family may be left at www.johnsonfuneralhome.net.
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Sharon and Families, Tom had always tuged at my heart. We didnn't see him often enough due to distance. He is really going to be missed. It is obvious he had been blessed with loyalty and love.
I lived in a home across the street from Tom and his wife, they lived in a flat on Sorrento in Detroit. My father died when I was nine and Tom was so kind to me, being the brat that I was. He'd see me shooting hoop in backyard by myself and come over and play, more importantly to talk, guy stuff. I looked Tom up 5 to 10 years ago through his equipment company in Oak Park, he had retired and was living in La. He got in touch, we shared some memories and what was going on currently in our lives. When I saw this notice I was shocked but obviously very glad I contacted him a few years back.I can truly understand why his grandchildren would have been the most important part of his life. Hope he didn't suffer to much. Thanks for caring Tom.
It is with great sadness that I learn of Tom's passing. What a great Chi Sigma Nu brother he was. The Moilanen Openen will not be the same.
Hey, my dear friends...the happiness of the river will always remain:) My thoughts are with you Sharon and family in this tough time...just remember all the good times that were shared and how many bright smiles came from Tom's life with you. Love you!
Sharon, Karl and Todd, I am so sorry at your loss - really, at our loss - and am grateful that my very dear kousin is now at rest and free from his pain. He will always be my hero at how well he 'fought the good fight'. How nice that you were all together at the end - Tom had so much love around him as he left, and so many loving spirits waiting to welcome him as well. Sharon, you have been wonderful to Tom - and for Tom - over the years. This has been a difficult road for you as well - we are all grateful for the love and care you gave him. I hope you are caring for yourself and have friends/family providing you with loving support. I look forward to seeing all of you in L'Anse as we say our final good-byes and share some warm memories – chuckling will ensue, I’m sure, and perhaps some guffaws! He was always so full of life and laughter, direct in his comments, and supportive of all of us. His cheerleading for me in recent months meant so very much to me. I'm going to miss my Kousin Tommy. As they say, he was one of the good ones . . . . no, he was one of the excellent ones. Love, Laurel