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Thomas Charles Hay

May 20, 1943 April 3, 2020
Thomas Charles Hay
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Obituary for Thomas Charles Hay

Thomas Charles Hay, a long time resident of Hartland, died peacefully on April 3, 2020, with his three daughters by his side.

Tom was born on May 20, 1943 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He was the only child of Kenneth and Olive (nee Stade) Hay. Tom attended Trinity Lutheran School and was a stellar baseball player at Mt. Clemens High School. He attended Michigan Technological University and then graduated from Eastern Michigan University.

Tom married his high school sweetheart, Donna Rathe, in 1965 and it has been said that their marriage was an example for all ages. They had three daughters - Heidi, Holly and Heather. Although Tom was an only child, his girls and Donna's large family meant everything to him. Tom stepped in to serve as the family patriarch and provided so much humor and joy and will be missed tremendously.

Tom was an active member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hartland and was instrumental in starting and naming the church's affiliate school, Child of Christ Lutheran School (now Our Savior Lutheran). He volunteered countless hours as a referee of basketball and volleyball games and also as a youth director. For many years Tom managed and played on the church softball and basketball teams and later when his knees would not allow him to play tennis at the level of competition that he was used to, he organized a successful pickle ball league at the church. He also served the church as a head usher and as a member of the Social Ministry team.

Tom enjoyed many years working as an insurance adjuster and even started his own business that he named 3H Claims. He was a strong advocate for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and volunteered numerous hours delivering food for Meals on Wheels. He enjoyed spending time outside gardening and taking care of his lawn and pool. Tom also loved to play cards, especially bridge and euchre.

Tom took great care of Donna especially when she was diagnosed with Alzheimers, and then visited her daily when it was time for her to reside at an assisted living facility. Being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just a couple of weeks prior to his death, Tom did not complain, kept his witty sense of humor and was only concerned about those he loved.

Mr. Tom Hay will be remembered for many reasons but especially for his love and commitment to his beloved wife, his unending devotion to family and friends, selfless service to his church and community, his amusing sense of humor, entertaining Facebook posts and regularly being the shirtless life of the party.

Tom is survived by his wife, Donna; daughters Heidi (Dennis) Wingle, Holly (Mike) Cabana, and Heather (Joachim) Cummings; grandchildren Doug, Sam, Jay and Maddie Wingle, Kylie, Cole and Kendall Cabana, and Kailynn, Kova, Kennedi and Kadence Cummings; great grandchild Kohen Cummings, as well as his entire beloved Rathe family. He was preceded in death by his parents Ken and Olive Hay, his infant daughter Holli, his nephew Luke Reither and his niece Kelly Bowman.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church 13667 W. Highland Road, Hartland, MI 48353 or online at Or to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America or Meals on Wheels America.


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