December 4, 1953 - April 23, 2013
First and foremost, Thomas DeMoines was a loving, devoted father and grandfather; while his passion for restoring old worn out cars into suped up hot rods was a close second. Although his life was plagued with obstacles to overcome, his joy and purpose in life never wavered, and his family remained his positive focus. Life will not be the same without Thomas, but the memories he leaves behind will remain forever near and dear to the hearts of many.
The 1950s were a bustling, optimistic time in American history. Neighborhoods and schools were bursting at the seams in the post-war Baby Boom, and families moved from the cities to stake their claims to a comfortable life in the suburbs, where new domestic technologies promised to make the average life easier. It was in this time of peace and prosperity that Wilford Jackson and Dorothy DeMoines of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan welcomed the birth of their son, Thomas, on December 4, 1953. Thomas was the youngest of five children, and together with his older siblings, David, Doylene, Daryle and Richard, he led a typical childhood growing up in Mt. Pleasant, where he was raised by his grandmother, Mary Delmas. Thomas was a busy, happy boy, running around the woods and getting into his fair share of mischief. He was always trying to pal around with his older brother, Richard, and his cousin, Garrett.
As a teenager, Thomas moved to Oregon for a short time to live with his mom. One day, while waiting for the school bus, a neighbor called him over and asked for his help on his car and with that, Thomas’s passion for cars was born. His love of restoring cars would stay with him throughout his life, influencing his career choices and providing him with some of his favorite pursuits. Thomas worked in auto body restoration for many years, but to him, it was a lifelong hobby â€“ it was a crazy perk that he got paid to do what he loved every day. For a short time, he also worked as a security guard at the Soaring Eagle Casino, a job he took great pride in.
On April 27, 1984, Thomas met Rose Robinson at the Maple Syrup Festival in Shepherd, Michigan, and it wasn’t long before they began dating. The two were married on July 29, 1986, in Lansing, and soon became the proud parents of their daughter, Heather Renee. Thomas adored his daughter Heather, and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for her. Unfortunately, he struggled with alcoholism until he was in his 40s, but his daughter was the driving force for him to straighten up so he could be the kind of father she could be proud of. Having children seemed to put the sparkle in Thomas’s eye and brought him such joy. Although his marriage to Rose ended in divorce, they remained friends, and her two sons, Chad and Clayton (from another marriage), became very close with Thomas, almost like his own. Later, when he was blessed with two precious grandchildren, Malakai and Brihanna Rose, Thomas showered them with his love and attention and was truly a proud Grandpa. He had to change some of his ways though when those small ones came around as he used to use the words “damn it” frequently, but wanting to be a good influence, he quickly replaced with "'dog gone it."
With cars being such a “big” part of Thomas’s life, it was only natural that he loved to go to car shows, including the one in St. Ignace every year. He also enjoyed going to drag strips in Stanton and Martin to hear the roar of those hot rod engines. During the winter months, if Thomas didn’t want to be in the cold working on cars, he turned his attention to his amazing salt water fish tank and growing his own coral for it. Thomas was a member of the National Rifle Association, as well as of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, a heritage he took great pride in. Time spent with his daughter and grandchildren meant the world to Thomas, and they enjoyed two very memorable trips to Hawaii and Florida together. He and Heather also went boar hunting once, and he shot one with a bow.
For 10 years, Thomas battled cancer, but he never complained or let it darken his spirit. Even though life was not always easy, he came to appreciate that there was nothing more valuable, more lasting or more rewarding in life than giving all you can possibly give of yourself to your children and grandchildren, your family and friends.
Thomas DeMoines, 59, of Mt. Pleasant, MI passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at his residence, with his family by his side. His body will lie in state on Friday, April 26, at Lux Family Life Story Funeral Home, 2300 S. Lincoln Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cremation will follow and a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 27, at 3:30 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Jeremy Selvidge of First Church of the Nazarene officiating. His ashes will be interred at Memorial Gardens Cemetery followed by a luncheon back at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Woodland Hospice. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.
Thomas is survived by his daughter, Heather DeMoines of Mt. Pleasant; two grandchildren, Malakai Thomas and Brihanna Rose; three siblings, David DeMoines of Alma, Doylene (Larry) Smith of Shepherd and Daryle (Eva) Jackson of Mt. Pleasant; his special friend, Rocky DeVries; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Richard DeMoines. To sign the online guest book or send a condolence to the family please visit www.LuxFamilyFuneralHome.com.