of Chelsea, Michigan, formerly of Punta Gorda, Florida, age 94, passed away Wednesday, March 20, 2024, after a brief illness. He was born May 9, 1929 in Norwood, Ohio, the son of Thomas Joseph McGaw and Dorcas Elizabeth (Ballard) McGaw.

Thomas (Tom) and his six siblings grew up in Norwood. It was there that he met his wife of nearly 76 years, Phyllis. They were married on November 10, 1947 and raised their three children in Chelsea, Michigan and they survive. Son Thomas (Hazel) McGaw III of Grass Lake; daughters Janice (Larry) Gaken of Chelsea, and Patricia (Brad) McGibney of Temperance as well as six grandchildren Erin Knott, Evan (Ann) Chiumino-Knott, Adam (Marina) Knott, Thomas McGaw IV, Catherine (Kelly) Richmond, Michael McGibney; six great-grandchildren Alexis, Alivia, Helen, Lauren, Seamus, and Philip; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Phyllis, six siblings, and grandson Philip.

Tom was a veteran and studied mechanical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He completed an 8,000-hour machine tool apprenticeship through Cincinnati Milacron, where he went on to work in their Detroit office for 17 years as a sales and serviceman, with Ford Motor Company being his primary account. In 1964, Tom and his family moved to Chelsea, Michigan where he began working for Chelsea Grinding Company, which he purchased in 1975.

In 1965, Tom began taking flying lessons, obtained his pilot’s license and was eventually instrumented rated. As a private pilot, he owned three different airplanes before eventually giving them up in favor of boats, which he enjoyed up and down the Florida coastline.

Tom and Phyllis built and enjoyed a cottage for several years on Indian Lake at the Nazarene Campground in Vicksburg, Michigan. In their retirement years in Florida, he and Phyllis enjoyed boating, fishing and hosting family and friends. Prior to retiring, Tom served as the Sunday School Superintendent at the Church of the Nazarene in Jackson, Michigan, and was on the Village of Chelsea’s Planning Commission.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, March 23, 2024, 11:00 a.m. at the Chelsea Retirement Community Chapel, with Rev. Jeff Crowder officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Chelsea, Michigan. The family will receive friends Saturday, at 10:00 a.m. until the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association 25200 Telegraph Rd Suite 100 Southfield, Michigan 48033. 

Click here to watch the video of Tom's funeral

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#2 Joan Dietle Howell 2024-03-31 14:03
Thomas, Patti, Jan
I am so sorry for your loss. Your parents were always so gracious and lovely to me. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your families. Joannie
#1 Ann Salyer 2024-03-21 11:11
So sorry for your loss. Tom had such a kind heart! I am sure he will be missed.

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