Thomas "Tom" Thornton Obituary

Thomas "Tom" Thornton

March 21, 1957 - August 27, 2019
Born in Saginaw, Michigan
Resided in Hemlock, Michigan
  • Contat Us
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Send Flowers


A Titan among men with a chest like a barrel of whiskey and arms like trees, strong like a bull and quick as a cat. The sharpness of his vision matched only by the humor of his wit. Tom was a dedicated, persistent, fiercely loyal and protective family man with generous helping hands and a heart the size of Lake Michigan. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend unexpectedly went to be with his Savior on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at Covenant HealthCare with his family by his side. He was 62 years young. Thomas Martin Thornton was born on March 21, 1957, in Saginaw, Michigan to the late Martin and Dorothy (Chaltraw) Thornton. He married his high school sweetheart, the apple of his eye, and one love of his life Grace E. Shimonek on July 25, 1975 in Saginaw, Michigan; she survives him. Tom worked as a cold header and pickle house operator at Saginaw Steering Gear (GM/Delphi); retiring with over 27 ½ years of service. As a fastidious organizer that knew how to bring a plan together Tom built 7 homes for his immediate family and remodeled several others all out of the kindness of his heart. He was most recently employed at his leisure as a courtesy driver for Martin/Garber Chevrolet.
Truly a hero to everyone who knew him well, Tom was far too humble to see himself in this light, but we would like to share a bit of who this amazing man truly was now that his golden heart has stopped, and his working hands are finally at rest. Tom served as an amazing life example for family and friends. He lived his life for the people he loved the most in this world, but he would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need, and for that he has earned the greatest honor of everlasting admiration. He has left behind a legacy of hard work, loyalty, dedication, determination, and most of all “selfless love and compassion for others”. While here on earth he managed to touch our lives, inspiring us to dream more, learn more, and most importantly he inspired us to become more!
Tom loved to be outdoors when the weather was nice; he was a man of summer. He loved to play ball with his boys and brother, doing so competitively for many years. He was a sandlot hero and a star pitcher at Saginaw High. He was a gifted athlete with a love for sport he passed to his children. He was also a passionate off roader on his quad and later in his Jeeps; he always had a special place in his heart for get-togethers with family and friends at Silver Lake Sand Dunes. He enjoyed camping, cookouts, and loved sharing stories around a bonfire with a Busch Light in his hand. When the weather turned Tom also loved to vacation in warm weather destinations with his dear wife and all who were willing to come along. Tom truly loved the fellowship of his family and friends. He will forever be remembered for his fun, full of life personality, and for his selflessness, compassion and assistance to others. A beloved role-model mentor, husband, father, grandfather and friend, Tom has left this earth in physical form, but has left a piece of his heart with every life he has touched over his 62 years among us. He will be missed beyond measure, but his legacy will live on forever in the hearts of those who loved him. Towers of Busch Light will surely be stacked in his honor.
Surviving are his wife of 44 years, Grace E. Thornton of Hemlock; son, Paul (Jennifer) Thornton of Hemlock, and their children: Austyn and Greysen; son, Adam (Jennifer) Thornton of Saginaw, and their daughter, Amelia; daughter, Jessica Thornton-Jungnitsch of Fenton and her children: Brinley and Diesel; daughter, Courtney Thornton of Hemlock and her beloved pets, Rex and Tux; three brothers: Glenn (Deb) Thornton, Mark Marsden, Todd (Kelly) Marsden; three sisters-in-law: Sharon (Mike) Brown, Brenda (Mike) Asp, Audrey (Frank) Torka; a beloved cousin, Mark Walkowski and his family. Also surviving are many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his two sisters: Cindy and Connie; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Bernie and Jeannette Shimonek; close friends: Dave Hoffman, Dan Donoghue, Marty Foskett; beloved dog, Tucker.
Honoring Tom’s wishes cremation has taken place. A memorial service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 2565 N. Miller Rd. Rev. Edward Meyer will officiate. Friends are welcome to visit with the family at the church on Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider prayers or donation to Tom’s beloved Brinley The Brave as she continues to fight her battle with cancer at St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She is his angel here on earth and now he has become her angel up in heaven.




St. Mark Lutheran Church
2565 N. Miller Rd.
Saginaw, MI US 48609
Monday, September 2, 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
St. Mark Lutheran Church
2565 N. Miller Rd.
Saginaw, MI US 48609
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
11:00 AM