Nature 28

Thomas Richard Speers

August 4, 1948 ~ February 18, 2021 (age 72)


Thomas Richard Speers passed away peacefully on February 18, 2021 at University of Michigan Hospital with his beloved wife and two daughters by his side. He was born on August 4, 1948 in Kalamazoo, MI to the late Harry and Velma Speers and was the younger brother of the late Harry Speers, Jr. A 1966 graduate of Vicksburg High School, he received an Associate degree from Kellogg Community College and a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Nazareth College. He joined the Kalamazoo Police Department in 1969, completing the police academy and his probationary period while walking a downtown footbeat assignment and patrolling the streets in a cruiser. During his years as a patrol officer, he alternated between all three shifts and also worked as a motorcycle officer. In 1980, he received his first Command Officer promotion to Sergeant and was assigned to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). In 1982, he cross-trained to the Fire Service and became a Public Safety Command Officer for both fire and police services. He was promoted to Shift Lieutenant in 1989, working in the Staff Services Division and became Captain three years later in charge of that division. In 1996, he was transferred to KVET where he supervised Kalamazoo's countywide drug enforcement team until his retirement in 1997.

Tom taught many courses at the KVCC Police Academy and WMU Criminal Justice program. He often shared with other members of his department how lucky and honored he felt to serve the citizens of Kalamazoo. On July 22, 1972 Tom married the love of his life, Connie Fuelling, and they enjoyed 49 years of marriage and raised two wonderful daughters. Active until the last months of his illness, Tom was an avid golfer, fisherman, boater, hunter and builder. He loved playing bridge with his wife, their many friends and his in-laws. He enjoyed playing hours and hours of games with his five grandchildren and spent his summers taking them boating and tubing. Over the years, Tom organized many Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) golf outings and softball tournaments and coached several of his girls' soccer and softball teams.

Tom was endeared by so many for his patience, love and generosity. He set the bar for how a husband, father and grandfather should be. Tom is survived by his loving wife Connie; daughter Andrea (Michael) of Helena, MT; daughter Kimberly (Jason) of Howell, MI; in-laws Richard and Dorothy Fuelling of Portage, MI; and five grandchildren: Mackenzie, Logan, Lexie, Claire and Andrew. Extended family includes Terry and Scott (Kirk, Darren and Anna) McNabb and Rick and Theresa (Travis, Katie and Bonnie) Fuelling.

The family has arranged for a cremation to take place and there is no service scheduled at this time. Instead, the family will host a memorial golf outing, dinner and celebration in early August at one of Tom's favorite golf courses to honor his memory and service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be designated to the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center or the Kellogg Community College Foundation. Those wishing to honor Tom may visit his online tribute wall and share a memory at


A service summary is not available


University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
Tel: 7347646777

Kellogg Community College Foundation
450 North Ave, Battle Creek MI 49017
Tel: 2699654161

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