Thomas F. O'Connell
FUNERAL HOME
Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service Inc
3767 W Liberty Rd
Ann Arbor, MI
O'Connell, Thomas F. 5/8/1939 - 11/18/2021 Ann Arbor, MI Thomas Franklin O'Connell, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, passed away Thursday, November 18, 2021 at the age of 82. Born to John and Margaret O'Connell on May 8, 1939, Thomas was raised with his two sisters, Patricia and Susan in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He attended Ypsilanti High School and played for the Ypsi Grizzly Football Team. After graduating, Thomas met his beloved Vlasta at the University of Michigan Printing Press. It all started when they began winking at each other from across the halls, which led to 59 wonderful years of marriage. They soon welcomed their daughter, Kellie, while living in Indiana, where Thomas attended an electrical trade school. Eventually settling back in Michigan, Thomas and Vlasta's family was complete with the birth of their son, Tom. Thomas was a man of many talents and hats. He began his 37 year career at the US Post Office on Stadium Boulevard as a postal carrier, eventually working his way up to supervisor. He also held jobs as a tow truck driver, handyman and was even a JCPenny Mall Santa for a number of years. From building the addition to the family home to crafting the changing room benches in JCPenny (some of which may still be there today) he lended his handyman skills to whomever would ask and was never without a project. Spending time with family was most important to Thomas. They made many memories together with their regular adventures camping, canoeing, boating and fishing. He was very involved with Boy Scouts and loved entertaining his children with exciting drives around town. Sometimes even popping a wheelie in his VW Bug to give them a thrill, much to the dismay of a local officer. "They made me do it," he said, pointing to wide-eyed Kellie, Tom and their cousins in the back seat. Thomas continued his love for adventure, fishing and boating later in life. He spent many trips with his cherished grandson, Sean. He loved it when a family member called him up to go for a "car ride". This meant a drive with no destination in mind and where Thomas gave his gut-feeling, turn-by-turn directions, using only backroads. One particular trip with his grandson took them nearly the entire day, eventually discovering they were on the outskirts of Chicago. This was to the surprise and evoked a chuckle from the rest of the family upon their return. Unaware of the distance Thomas' divine directions intended to take them. A lifelong fan of baseball and football, Thomas looked forward to football season in Ann Arbor and attending the games with his season tickets. He enjoyed monster trucks, movies, and his lotto-tickets. Thomas' love for collecting diecast cars eventually brought his handyman skills into play. He managed to collect enough cars to warrant one of the walls in the home being dedicated to the large collection with his custom shelving display. Always the prankster and jokester, Thomas knew how to put a smile on everyone's face. He never met a stranger as his kindness and sociability was key to a fast friendship. While he may have been a penny-pincher, Thomas knew and taught his friends and family how to live richly. He will be dearly missed and remembered as a great husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. Thomas is survived by his adored wife of 59 years, Vlasta J. O'Connell; his beloved children, Kellie (Dave) Loweke and Tom P. (Sandra) O'Connell; cherished grandson, Sean K. O'Connell; dear sister, Patricia; loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and many, many friends. The O'Connell family would also like to send a special thank you to Paul, Thomas' caretaker. Paul and his wife are very special to Thomas and his family for their love, support, grace and friendship. They welcomed Thomas into Deering Community Living and made time spent together so memorable. Thomas is preceded in death by his parents, John and Margaret O'Connell and sister, Susan. Visitation will be held Wednesday, November 24, 2021 from 4:00 - 5:00 pm at Nie Funeral Home - Liberty Road Chapel until the start of the Funeral Service at 5:00 pm. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Thomas to The Michigan Humane Society. Please visit www.niefuneralhomes.com for more information and to share a tribute.

Published by Ann Arbor News from Nov. 22 to Nov. 23, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Nov
24
Visitation
4:00p.m. - 5:00p.m.
Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Liberty Road Chapel
3767 W. Liberty Road, Arbor, MI
Nov
24
Funeral service
5:00p.m.
Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Liberty Road Chapel
3767 W. Liberty Road, Arbor, MI
Funeral services provided by:
Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service Inc
MAKE A DONATION
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Sponsored by The Family.
Add a Message


Not sure what to say?



2 Entries
I'm sorry to here about Tom. He was a good person to work with,I work with Tom At Brewers he will be missed.
Gerald German
Work
November 23, 2021
We are sorry to hear about Tom's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone. Thinking of Vlasta and the family during this difficult time. xo
CAROL AND LADDIE SPIRUDA
Family
November 23, 2021
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 results