Thomas L. Sinnaeve
MARQUETTE, Mich. — Thomas L. Sinnaeve, age 64, of Marquette and Gladstone passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving wife, Marie, on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw, Mich. In 2018, Tom was diagnosed with a rare aggressive blood cancer, Non-Hodgkin Mantle Cell Lymphoma. He was treated at the Mayo Clinic Rochester with chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant that put the cancer into remission. This was followed with three-years of maintenance treatment every eight-weeks. The beginning of this year Tom was diagnosed with Long COVID. This was unchartered territory for the many doctors and medical professionals who reviewed his case. He would go through cycles of improvement followed by setbacks and no matter the treatments or therapies administered COVID was hiding out in his body. It wasn’t until the morning of his death that it was realized that he was not going to be able to fight this any longer. Tom’s upbeat and positive attitude along with his Faith in the Lord were unwavering during his health crises.
Tom was born January 26, 1958, in Escanaba, the son of Cyriel “Sonny” and Marlene (Ducheny) Sinnaeve. Tom was raised in Gladstone and attended All Saints School and Gladstone Area Schools where he graduated in 1976. He attended Bay de Noc Community College receiving an associate of science in business administration (accounting). Then transferred to Northern Michigan University earning a bachelor in science degree in business administration majoring in accounting. He went back to school at Lake Superior State University where he earned a masters degree in business administration in 1991. Tom loved his career in accounting. He started working out of college at Hannahville Indian Community and School as their tribal accountant where he established many friendships and was always appreciative of the Indian culture that he learned there and getting a chance to start his accounting career. Tom played softball for the Chiefs with many of his friends from Hannahville. He then started a long career of 23 years in the auto industry as the controller for Northern Motor Company in Escanaba where he loved his Ford vehicles. After NMC he worked for several accounting jobs before moving to Marquette where he met his wife, Marie. Tom worked at O’Dovero Development as a staff accountant doing work for Marquette Mountain, O’Dovero Properties, Westwood Lands, Associated Constructors and Midway Rentals. He retired from National Carbon Technologies as controller where he created their office and accounting system and was developing a cost accounting system when he was forced into retirement about a year and a half early due to an illness.
Many of you knew Tom from his loyal service to his community by being voted into office of the Gladstone City Commission for sixteen and a half years. He served as mayor for eight and a half years and mayor pro-tem for two years. During his tenure on the commission he served on many boards including: Delta Co. Solid Waste Authority, alternate to the State Boundary Commission, treasurer of the Gladstone Industrial Development Corporation, secretary of the Delta Co. Overall Economic Development and Planning Committee, chairperson of the Gladstone Industrial Promotion Committee, chairperson of the Gladstone DDA, Board of Review, chairperson of the Michigan Municipal League Region 10, Great Start Collaborative Board, OSF Hospice Professional Advisory Committee, Board of Directors of the Gladstone Kiwanis Club, All Saints Parish Finance Council and secretary/treasurer of Northern Motor Co. Tom enjoyed and was honored to serve his community. He always felt it was important to participate if you were going to live there. He loved to talk to, listen to and then represent all the individuals and relationships he developed while serving.
He was very proud of the accomplishments that the commissions he was a part of completed which include: the Downtown Development Authority which created areas of development in downtown (utilities, infrastructure, facade program, etc.) north town (Senior Facility, Industrial area, etc.) Shoreline boardwalks, walkways, etc. and development of the old McGillis and Gibbs property (Subway, McDonalds, Hotel, etc.) Other improvements are the fishing pier, lighthouse, beach house, kid’s kingdom, skateboard park, harbor improvements, ski park improvements, ball parks, campground improvements, 10th street improvement, water infrastructure on bluff and many others.
Tom met the love of his life and best friend, Marie, in October of 2010. They soon fell in love and Tom moved to Marquette to share the rest of his life with her. She was Tom’s caregiver during his cancer fight. They’ve enjoyed their home in Trowbridge where they had many memories and family gatherings for Easter, 4th of July, birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, including, dinners, picnics, backyard fires, etc. Mini vacations to lower Michigan and Wisconsin visiting children and grandchildren. Tom’s other passions were playing softball, which he played until he was over 60 years old. Tom and Marie enjoyed their time camping, kayaking, hiking and cross country skiing. Their love for the outdoors was something that brought and kept them together.
In addition to his wife, Marie, Tom is survived by: daughter, Ashley of Luxemburg, Wis.; granddaughters, Mya, Emily, Erin and Malaina of Luxemburg, Wis.; stepsons, Joshua Aprill of Jackson, Mich., Jonathan Aprill of Marquette, Mich.; stepdaughter, Jennifer Aprill of Marquette, Mich.; grandkids, Travon, Joshua, Rayanna, Shyann, Skylar and Alaynah; sister, Kathy (Kenny) Mathers of Gladstone, Mich.; brother, Steve (Mendy Kolbus) Sinnaeve of Gold Canyon, Ariz.
In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by: paternal grandparents, Cyril and Margarite Sinnaeve of Gladstone; maternal grandparents, Armond and Margaret Ducheny of Gladstone.
Family will receive friends on Monday, June 13, from 10 a.m. until noon at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 12:30 p.m. at the All Saints Catholic Church in Gladstone with Rev. Fr. Jamie Ziminski officiating. A luncheon will take place in the parish hall. Tom will be laid to rest next to his parents in the Fernwood Cemetery. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes are assisting the Sinnaeve family. Please visit www.skradskifuneralhomes.com where you can leave a message of condolence to the family.