Thomas L. Wilson, age 81, of Lake Bluff, passed away Thursday morning, December 19, 2019 at Lakeview Assisted Living & Memory Care in Gladstone after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. He was born on December 25, 1937 in Toledo, OH, the son of George and Edna (Strohl) Wilson. Tom was raised in Sylvania, OH, and graduated from Burnham High School in 1955. Following graduation, he furthered his education at Bowling Green State University. Tom married the former Donna Eberhardt on December 14, 1957 at First United Methodist Church in Sylvania, and recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary. Tom was employed as Vice President in Commercial Lending at Sylvania Savings Bank for over 25 years. He always had a vision of owning his own business. In 1981, Tom was accepted and enrolled in the McDonald’s Registered Applicant Program, where he worked over 2,000 unpaid hours at a McDonald’s in Bowling Green, OH, while still working full-time as a banker. In August of 1984, Tom and Donna moved to Escanaba, and in September of the same year they purchased the McDonald’s in Escanaba. With the help of their three sons, they were able to expand the family business to many locations throughout the Upper Peninsula. In 1992, Tom was very proud to have obtained his private pilot’s license and enjoyed taking his family and friends for plane rides. Tom was a longtime member of the Escanaba Country Club and enjoyed golfing with his buddies. He also liked spending time outdoors – especially at their family camp in Northland. He was a member of the Sylvania Volunteer Fire Department, the Sylvania Masonic Lodge, the Escanaba Elks Lodge #354, and was strong in his faith as a member at Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba. Tom loved life and always had a smile on his face that in return made others smile. More than anything, he loved spending time with his family. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend, who will be so deeply missed by all who knew him.
Thomas L. Wilson is survived by his loving wife, Donna Wilson of Lake Bluff; three sons, Timothy (Catherine) Wilson of Escanaba, James (Sandra) Wilson of Lake Bluff, and Brian (Sophia) Wilson of Marquette; six grandchildren, Sarah (Terry) Pearson, Alexander (Sabrina) Romero-Wilson, Thomas Wilson (fiancée Kasie Pleiness), Leia Wilson, Audrey Wilson, and George Wilson; great-grandchildren, Joel Pearson, Owen Pearson, and Grace Pearson; sister-in-law, Carol Wilson; and nephews, George Wilson and Robert Wilson.
In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his brother, George R. Wilson.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Monday, December 23, 2019 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Tom will follow at 12:30 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba with Rev. Dave Van Kley and Rev. Terry Frankenstein officiating. A luncheon will be served at the conclusion of the services in the church fellowship hall. Burial will take place in Fernwood Cemetery in Gladstone. In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial contributions be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern Wisconsin.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude and appreciation to Lakeview Assisted Living & Memory Care for going above and beyond in caring for Tom and his family. They would also like to thank OSF Hospice and UP Health System Home Care & Hospice for their warmth and support.
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