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Thomas Samuel Motley

September 18, 1938 August 25, 2008
Thomas Samuel Motley
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Obituary for Thomas Samuel Motley

Thomas S. Motley, a lifelong resident of Milford and a fixture on Main Street for more than fifty years died at his home on Monday morning of a sudden heart attack. He was 69 years old. Born in Milford on September 18, 1938, to Leo and Ethel (Colegrove) Motley, he went to work for T. Arms at Arms Brothers Store for Men, when he was 14. He graduated from Milford High School in 1956 and enlisted in the US Army, serving six months in active duty and several years in the Army Reserve. He married Phyllis Lockwood McFarlane in 1970 and in 1979, after many years working at Arms Brothers, he bought the historic store in the middle of downtown Milford in which he served as Milford�s one man welcoming committee to locals and strangers, old-timers and newcomers alike. Well known for his big smile, firm handshake, good jokes and civic pride, he was a merchant of the old school who believed that service was part of every sale. Tom was a founding member and Past President of the Huron Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Association, the Milford Merchants Association and many other civic and community organizations. He was a proud recipient of The Rotary International Paul Harris Award and could be counted on to pitch in and do his part for any number of community projects. Like the late Wilbur Johnson, area residents thought of Tom as �Mr. Milford,� because he was so generous with the hometown he so clearly loved. He was named Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce and his business was named Business of the Year. This year, after decades on Main Street, he and Phyllis began to plan for retirement. In the weeks before his death, they attended two family reunions � one in Ohio, and one in Milford � and last Friday he signed a new lease on the store with a new young merchant to takeover his place on Main Street.

In addition to his wife of 38 years, Phyllis, he is survived by his sons and daughter, Thomas (Sandra) McFarlane, Debora (Thomas) Divozzo and Larry (Susan) Motley and grandchildren, Ryan and Riley Motley. Also surviving are his step-father, Richard Motley, his sister, Ruth (Ted) Blascak, and brother Gary (Sue) Motley. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, and his brothers, Richard and Leo Motley.

Funeral services will be held from Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 404 E. Liberty, Milford, Friday at 11 AM, Rev. John Harris officiating. Cremation to follow. Friends may visit at the funeral home on Thursday from 1-9PM. Memorials to the Dick Yeager Foundation, c/o Chris Ceresa, 2380 S. Milford Rd., Highland, MI 48357. For further info phone 248.684.6645.

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