Thomas D. 'Tom' Lavander
Thomas D. “Tom” Lavander, 69, of Benton Harbor passed away Thursday, June 13, 2019, at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at the First Church of God, 2627 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, with the Rev. Robert Confer officiating. Friends may visit with the family beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the church. Private burial will take place in North Shore Memory Gardens in Coloma. Memorial donations in Tom’s name may be made to First Church of God. Those wishing to sign Tom’s memory book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
Tom was born June 29, 1949, in Chicago to Herbert and Shirley H. (Kupczyk) Lavander. He graduated from Glenbard High School in Lombard, Ill., class of 1967, and earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. On May 19, 1973, Tom married the former Elaine Sell in New Boston, Mich. Tom joined Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn in 1973 and retired as engineering program manager in 2002. Following retirement, Tom and Elaine moved to the shores of Lake Michigan in Benton Harbor. Tom had become very fond of Lake Michigan and its beaches in his early years as his family came to Southwest Michigan from Chicago to vacation.
Tom was a member of First Church of God and Southwest Michigan Corvette Coventry. He had a love of cars for most of his life and enjoyed building model cars from kits. He was an avid Chicago Cubs fan and enjoyed his annual vacations across the United States and abroad with Elaine.
Tom is survived by his wife, Elaine; his children: Michael T. Lavander of Westland, Mich., Andrew J. Lavander of Hollywood, Calif., and Jessica (Eric) Lavander-Biggs of Livonia; three grandchildren, Savanna Lavander and Evan and Cameron Biggs; his sister, Jeannette Lavander of Eugene, Ore., and numerous siblings, nieces and nephews of Elaine’s family.
He was preceded in death by his parents.