Thomas W. Grenfell

ESCANABA – A loving husband and father, Thomas W. Grenfell, 86, of Escanaba, passed away at OSF St. Francis hospital on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, from congestive heart failure.

Born on July 10, 1926, in Mellen, Wis., Tom spent his formative years in the Schaefer/Perronville area where he graduated from high school. During his stint with the Army Air Force Base Unit in Amarillo, Texas, he wedded Mary Mae Bruce, on Sept. 2, 1945.

After his honorable discharge in 1946, Tom worked for the Magnolia Oil Company as an accountant and fathered a son, Thomas R. Grenfell, who past away in 1992. Tom moved his family, including Jimmy Bruce from Mary’s first marriage, back to the Upper Peninsula in 1956.

Tom and Mary operated the “Sports Bowl,” a pool hall and soda fountain for 10 yeas before becoming a salesman for Montgomery Wards. Tom retired as a salesman from Heynsenn Selins in 1990.

Tom had a passion for several artistic endeavors. His flower gardens were envied throughout the county and his trap shooting prowess placed him in the “excellent” category. An avid painter, he had many western theme oils submitted as ribbon winners to the U.P. State Fair, and, his wise and savvy approach to antiquing and gun collecting is well respected. But his true love was performing traditional country and western music with his band Country Pickin’ and other country bands. He was well known for playing with groups at the Amvets, local nursing homes and the coffee house.

Tom Grenfell was the son of William and Mary Grenfell of Escanaba and is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Mae; a brother, Jerry Grenfell (Rosie) of Escanaba; a sister, Joan McKenzie (Pete) of Escanaba; his son, Jimmy Bruce (Sally) of Escanaba; grandsons, Christopher Bruce (Elise) of Chapel Hill, N.C., Tony Bruce of Brooklyn, N.Y., Michael Grenfell of Wasilla, Alaska; and granddaughter, Debbie Koch (Steve) of Manitowoc, Wis., along with a number of great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements for Thomas W. Grenfell are in the most capable hands of Crawford Funeral Homes in Escanaba. Funeral services to celebrate the life of Thomas W. Grenfell are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 15, at the funeral home with visitation from 3 to 6 p.m.

The funeral service will follow at 6 p.m. with Pastor Donna Ritchee of Community Church of Christ, Gladstone, officiating.