Thomas Henry Flickinger, known affectionately as “Tom”, departed from this world on February 2, 2024, in Schoolcraft, Michigan, at the age of 78. He was born on August 29, 1945, in Carson City, Michigan, to the late Byron S. and Bernadine A. (Abel) Flickinger. In 1967, Tom married Sharon Mary Rice. When Sharon died in 2018, the two had been married over 50 years.
Tom leaves behind his brother, Robert "Bob" R. Flickinger, and his sister, Katherine "Kathy" A. Flickinger. His legacy continues through his son, Michael Flickinger, Michael's wife, Jodi, and his adored granddaughters, Chelsea and Kaylee. Tom's life journey brought him to many places and into the hearts of numerous individuals who will remember him fondly for his warmth, humor, and the deep love he held for his family, especially his cherished granddaughters. He was preceded in passing by his younger brother, David B. Flickinger, and his sister-in-law, Joan Flickinger. Tom was a central figure in the lives of his many cousins, nieces, and nephews, who will miss him dearly.
A proud graduate of Portage Central High School, class of 1964, Tom went on to serve his country with honor in the U.S. Navy, completing two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. He was an "Air Crewman" with 40+ combat missions over North Vietnam and he became a "shellback" when his ship, the USS Bennington, crossed the equator. His time in the military was marked by bravery and dedication. He is honored and commended for his service to this country. Following his service, Tom embarked on a successful career, contributing his talents to the General Motors Corporation, and later to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His work ethic and commitment to excellence left an indelible mark on his colleagues and the institutions he served. He loved working with his hands at a variety of projects and his passion was collecting NASCAR car models, which he proudly displayed for all to see.
To honor Tom's life, a memorial gathering will be conducted on Saturday, February 17, 2024, at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services, 411 E Centre Ave, Portage, Michigan, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The family extends an invitation to those who knew Tom to join in commemorating a life well-lived and a man deeply loved. At a later date, a burial service will be held at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan. In remembrance of Tom's generous spirit, and in lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the American Cancer Society or Gift of Life, an act that embodies the kindness and compassion that Tom exemplified throughout his life. To leave an online condolence, please visit https://www.langelands.com.