Thomas Brian Zolinski Obituary

Thomas Brian Zolinski
Thomas Brian Zolinski

March 3, 1964 - November 22, 2019
Born in Saginaw, MI
Resided in Freeland, Michigan
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On November 22, 2019 our beloved husband, father, son, brother, friend and “coach” suddenly passed away at the age of 55. Thomas Brian Zolinski was born on March 3, 1964 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Saginaw, Michigan to Raymond and Mary (Boyer) Zolinski. Tom is survived by his devoted wife Judy (Wurtzel) Zolinski of 31 years, their two loving children Jeromy and Erikah Zolinski, his mother Mary (Boyer) Zolinski, sister and brother-in-law Debra and Jim Martin, brother and sister-in-law Raymond and Angela Zolinski, and younger brother Steven Zolinski. Tom is also survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Tim and Debbie Wurtzel, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Diane and Steve Rambow, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Chuck and Carla Wurtzel, Sister-in-law and brother-in-law Sandy and Dwight Kreager and sister-in-law and brother-in-law Mary and Jeff Langley and a large number of extended family and friends. Tom’s father Raymond J. Zolinski passed away in September of 1997. His father-in-law Ray J. Wurtzel passed away in November of 1997 and his mother-in-law Patricia (O’Toole) Wurtzel passed away in in October of 2014. Many other loved ones predeceased Tom as well.
Tom began his journey at St. Casimir’s Catholic grade school in Saginaw, Michigan up until the family moved to the Hemlock School District in 1975. There he attended Hemlock Middle School and High School in which he graduated in 1982. During his time at Hemlock High School, Tom excelled both scholastically as well as in basketball where he set a number of school records at the time and was nominated and elected to the Michigan Class B all-state basketball team his senior year.
Shortly after graduating from high school, Tom found out he had diabetes and would have to adjust his lifestyle to manage the disease. Although a “body blow” to him and the ones he loved, Tom quickly picked himself up, “played by the rules” and became a role model for other diabetic patients and their families. From there he married his wife Judy on January 16, 1988, “set up shop” in Freeland, Michigan and started a family together. Their son Jeromy was born on October 31, 1990 and their daughter Erikah was born on August 15, 1994. Shortly before the birth of his children, Tom began his working career with the United States Postal Service as an entry level employee and eventually worked his way up the ranks to tour superintendent with a Postal Service Branch in Lansing, Michigan where he remained up until the day of his passing. He most recently received the “Postal Proud” award for his contributions to the Lansing P & DC and to the success of the Greater Michigan District.
Other than the treasured time spent with his family and friends, Tom possessed a passion and love for the game of basketball. He channeled his love for the game by becoming a coach of the sport he so truly loved. His coaching career began in Hemlock where it all began for him. After a short stint there, he moved on to become the Freeland girls’ junior varsity and varsity basketball coach where he remained up until the day of his passing. During this time, he had the opportunity to share his love for basketball and all sports with both his children, as he coached both of them from the day they could walk up until the day they each put the games behind them. They both treasured that time with him, and his influence, support and inspiration went much further than just there on the court or field. The impact he had on them during that period of time, developed them into the successful hard-working young adults they are today.
Tom quickly put together a program that offered young ladies the opportunity to experience and share in the game that was near and dear to his own heart. Together, team after team, girl after girl they set numerous records for wins and titles. During this time, Tom was nominated and won coach of the year honors. He most recently received coach of the year honors for Class B and was recognized for this accomplishment this past October.
For twelve plus years, Tom volunteered countless hours with a large number of young girls and young women instilling in each one of them the belief that with hard work, commitment and a loyalty to one another, their efforts would someday pay off long after they walked off the basketball courts for the final time.
Tom also dedicated his time to coaching track and field and attended sporting events at all levels. He especially got great joy watching and supporting the young girls who played basketball who he might someday have the opportunity to teach and mentor as well.
Tom’s presence in the Freeland community will be truly missed. It takes a special person to sacrifice so much so others may prosper. He did not dedicate so much time into coaching for the money or personal gain, but instead, felt the greatest joy and reward being a small part of someone else’s success as they moved on with the next chapter of their young lives.
Finally, Tom was more than just a great role model and mentor to those he coached, he was a great husband, father, friend and leader of people at all levels. He always took the time to help those around him no matter how busy he was with work and coaching. He was a “gentle giant” who possessed a calming demeanor about him. His influence he had on us all will be the greatest gift he left behind. His memory will “burn on” forever in all of us. He will never be forgotten and generation after generation will tell his story.
Funeral liturgy will take place at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 30, 2019 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 335 Johnson St., Freeland, MI. Fr. Andrew LaFramboise will officiate with private burial at Chapel Hill Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family at the W. L. Case and Company Funeral Chapel, 201 N. Miller Rd. on Friday from 2:00-8:00 p.m. where a vigil for Thomas will be held at 7:00 p.m. Friends may also visit at the church on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral liturgy. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider American Diabetes Association or the American Heart Association.




W. L. Case and Company, Miller Rd. Funeral Chapel
201 North Miller Road
Saginaw, MI United States 48609
Friday, November 29, 2019
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Funeral Liturgy
St. Agnes Catholic Church
335 Johnson St.
Freeland, MI US 48623
Saturday, November 30, 2019
11:00 AM