American Veteran 04

Thomas D. Eckley

August 6, 1924 ~ December 26, 2020 (age 96)


Thomas Delbert Eckley

August 6, 1924 - December 26, 2020

Thomas Delbert Eckley, 96, of Ronald Township, Ionia, MI, went home to be with his Lord, Saturday, December 26, 2020. He was the son of Louis Herbert (Herb) and Sarah (Sadie) Eckley. He married his first love, Dorothy Wandel, August 19, 1944. They raised four children.

Tom enjoyed his family. He was a member of Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church for several years. Most of all he loved the Lord Jesus Christ and served him whenever he could. Tom was saved at North Plains Church when he was 13 years old and attended there until he was drafted and entered the service April 1945. After training in Louisiana was shipped overseas to Japan occupation forces and was there nine months. He came home and was discharged September 1947. He and Dorothy then joined the Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church until 1952 when they purchased a home and moved to Lyons, then joining the Lyons Baptist Church. They served there until 1976, joining Temple Baptist Church in Ionia. Tom was always promoting camp programs at Lincoln Lake Camp, helping to build the lodge there. In 1998 they became members at Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church and served the Lord there until the last of this year.

Tom served on the Lyons Village Council for 11 years. He was treasurer for several years and also Treasurer of Lyons Township for one term.

Tom worked at TRW, Mitchell Bentley Corporation, Fisher Body, Wolhlert Corporation, Ionia Public School Building Trades, retiring in 2001 and Volunteered for Bible Study at Heartlands (SKIDs) until the Covid-19 happened.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, in August 2016, his parents, his three brothers and their wives: Howard and Anna; John and Norma; and Donald and Jennie.

Thomas is survived by his four children, Ruth (Richard) Halsted of Westphalia, MI; Linda (Carleton) Park of Chambersburg, PA; Terry (Bernice) Eckley of Gladwin, MI and Doris (Bill) O’Connor of Williamston. Grandchildren: Kristen (Dennis) Martin of Owosso, MI; Thomas (Tia) Halsted of Pewamo; Shane (Lori) Park of Chambersburg, PA; Camilla (Geoff) Ellis of Trafalger, IN; Melinda (David) Posey of Brownsville, TN and Nathan (Casey) Eckley of Lacross, WI. Six Step-Grandchildren: Bill (Bridget) O’Connor of Webberville, MI, Nicole (Bill) Peters of Williamston, MI; Shawn (Kristen) O’Connor of Perry, MI; Kevin (Gosia) O’Connor of Haslett, MI; Brandon (Jesse) O’Connor of Fowlerville, MI; and Kathryn O’Connor (Rob Siefert) of Lapeer, MI; 13 Great-Grandchildren and 14 Step-Great Grandchildren.

Also surviving is a sister-in-Law, Betty Keefer of Greenbrier, AK; a brother-in-law, Dale Wandel of Ionia, and many nieces and nephews.

We wish to thank Lon Sandborn, whom Dad considered his “Adopted” son, for all the love and care he gave to Dad in the past years.

There will be a Funeral Service in the Spring with his nephew, Rev. Nelson Swinehart officiating.

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