We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Cane Funeral Home
Thomas Wayne Immonen, 81, of Ontonagon passed away on Friday, May 20th at his home with family by his side. Tom suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall at home on Saturday, September 4th, 2021 and over the past eight months, with his wife Joan by his side, was in multiple medical facilities in the Wisconsin area. Through all the medical setbacks he continued to display first-hand the true meaning of SISU. He fought hard to get better, never complained about his situation and still found a way to maintain his wit and sense of humor to make those around him laugh or smile. His determination to come home was his only goal and he accomplished that on May 13th, 2022 and spent the last week of his life in his home with his family by his side.
Tom was born in Hancock, MI to Wayne and Flora Immonen on July 1st, 1940. He attended Hancock schools where he enjoyed football and hockey, playing goalie (without a mask) and winning championships in the 1950's with the Laurn-Grove and Portage Lake hockey clubs.
At the age of 17, Tom first met the love of his life, Joan Walstrom, whom he later married on December 22nd, 1962.
He enlisted in the US Army and served from 1958 - 1960 and was later called back to service again from 1961 - 1962 for the Berlin Crisis.
He graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1966 with a Bachelor degree in Forestry.
He worked for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service and was assigned to Field Offices in; Houghton, West Branch & Crystal Falls, MI until transferring to Ontonagon in May of 1972.
He managed tree planting projects and worked directly with the local farmers to build cattle feeding areas, watering ponds and drainage systems, creating friendships he maintained long after his retirement in April 1994.
Tom always kept himself busy. After retirement, he assumed the role of the Ontonagon County Emergency Services Coordinator and was directly involved in re-addressing and placing new fire numbers and road signs throughout the entire county for the Enhanced 911 System.
After that project was completed, he supervised the grounds crew at the Ontonagon Golf Club for over 20 years and truly enjoyed every minute working outside, maintaining the golf course greens, fairways, mowing equipment and watering system.
Tom served his community as chairman of the board at the Ontonagon Memorial Hospital, Ontonagon School Board President, a long-time member of the Ontonagon Men's Association, Ontonagon Recreation Committee and coached hockey. He was a member of the Redeemer Free Lutheran Church and served as its treasurer for 15 years and was an active member of the choir.
Tom made many memories hunting and visiting camps and loved taking a good sauna with friends or family. Hockey was his favorite sport to watch but his favorite to play was golf. If you couldn't find him at home sitting in his rocker or out on the porch listening to classic country or blue grass, he was likely on the course and although he struggled with his long-game in recent years, he made up for it around the greens. Amongst his golfing buddies, he was nick-named 'The Machine' for his solid short-game and ability to get 'up & down'.
Tom and his wife Joan also spent sixteen winters in their Mercedes, TX golfing community where they made several lifelong friendships. Tom enjoyed that he could golf daily. He also was active in the church choir, never missed a Friday practice and led the singing for all birthday and anniversary celebrations at the park.
Tom is survived by his wife, Joan Immonen of Ontonagon, their children, Todd (Char) Immonen of Hortonville, WI; Jennifer (Paul) Gauthier of Combined Locks, WI; Craig (Beth) Immonen of Ontonagon; Carrie (Richard) Ling of Trenton, MI
He is further survived by his sister Adele (David) Liimatta of Brighton, MI; multiple nieces and nephews, thirteen grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and Tom being a dog-lover would be amiss without mentioning the nine grand-dogs.
Tom was a loving husband, proud father and a dear friend to many. He will be deeply missed.
Memorial services will take place on Thursday, May 26th at 1PM at the Redeemer Free Lutheran Church in Ontonagon. Friends may call at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at the Riverside Cemetery in Ontonagon with Military Honors provided by the Ontonagon County Veteran’s Association.
A celebration of life will be held at the Ontonagon VFW Post 5600 Thursday, May 26th beginning at 5:00PM
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Sunset Harbor Homes Ontonagon, MI 906-884-3200.
The Cane Funeral Home of Ontonagon is assisting the family.
Sunset Harbor Homes