Thomas Williams

Mr. Thomas  “Tom” Williams, 71, of  Vermontville, passed away on Monday, January 4, 2021 at his home.
Tom was born in Cadillac, Mich. on October 15, 1949, the son of the late Stanley and Francis Williams.
He was raised in the Haslett area and attended local schools, graduating from Haslett High School in 1967. Upon completing high school Tom joined the United State Marine Corps. Tom bravely served three consecutive tours in the Vietnam War, participating in over 20 forward operations and campaigns.  While serving his country, Tom achieved the rank of Sergeant, and was decorated with the Combat Action Ribbon, two Presidential Unit Citations, four Naval Unit Citations, Meritorious Unit Citation, the Good Conduct Medal, National Service Medal, seven Vietnam Service Medals, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. Tom was honorably discharged on December 11, 1970, but remained as an active reserve from 1980-1984.
The relationships that Tom and his unit developed while serving together enriched all their lives and forged life-long friendships that they all continue to this very day.  Tom looked forward each year to traveling the United States to visit his dear friends and participate in their Marine Corp reunions.  Tom was honored to be inducted into the very elite and limited membership as a Knight of the Military Or of the Spirit Warrior, was a Life Member of the 2/4 Association, 1st Marine Division Association, and the 3rd Marine Division Association, Commander of the Vietnam Veterans of America Ellis E. Austin Chapter in Vermontville, served as the Vermontville American Legion Commander for over ten years and in 1994 was appointed as the Vietnam Veterans of America representative for the Eaton County MVTF Committee. 
On December 23, 1970 Tom married Debra (Austin) Williams.  They began their lives together in Eaton Rapids and St. Johns areas until divorcing in 1976.  Although divorced, they were able to develop a friendship in the past ten years and remained close.  He was married to Connie Rickey from 1978-1989.  In 1994 Tom married Kelly (Dickey) Williams and the couple made their home together in Vermontville. They remained married until Kelly’s passing.  
Tom had a strong passion for auto racing.  This began when he returned from Vietnam and started racing with his brother at local Michigan short tracks.  Throughout the years he has raced many different styles of cars, most recently racing the Super Late Model division.  If you stopped by Tom’s on any given afternoon, he was most likely in the barn working on one of his race cars or talking about one of his other vehicles that he took great pride in. He was also an avid Michigan State football fan and began taking his children to games over 30 years ago.  He and his daughter have been season ticket holders for over 20 years and when she couldn’t attend, Tom enjoyed taking his friends to the games.  He loved that his granddaughters Ahvia and Ella were getting into the football spirit too and the family tradition could continue.  The grandchildren were the “apple of his eye.”  He would drop everything when he had the opportunity to hang out with them, whether it was fishing, watching them play sports or activities, or just having sleepovers at grandpa’s house.  For the first years of his grandsons’ lives, Tuesdays were known as “grandpa day” as he began his babysitting career watching Jacob when he was three months and then when Holden was born, Tuesdays were still “grandpa day” as he cared for a newborn and one year old as if it was no big deal to him.  He made being a grandpa look easy and his grandchildren always felt loved by him.  During the summer he would vacation in Gatlinburg with his daughter’s family and granddaughter Ahvia. There wasn’t anything grandpa wouldn’t do for his grandchildren. 
Tom is survived by his two daughters, Vicki (Michael) Roush of Potterville, Mich. and their children Jacob, Holden and Ella, and  Gina Sherman of Boulder, Col. and her children Wyatt and Danika; two sons, Mike (Lindsay) Williams of Easton, Pa., Erwin Sherman of Boulder, Col.; a step son, Anthony Avitable of Charlotte, Mich.; sister, Francis Talton; brother, Allan Williams; and granddaughter, Ahvia Avitable.  
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Stanley and Frances Williams; wife, Kelly Williams; brother, Erwin Williams;  son, Stephen Williams; and step daughter, SaraJayne Smith.
Tom will be laid to rest with full military honors provided by the United States Marine Corp, The American Legion Post 45 – Hastings, Mich., with reprenstatives from The Vermontville American Legion, and a tribute from the Patriot Riders at  Woodlawn Cemetery in Vermontville, Mich.  with Pastor Robert Batterham officiating.
The family received visitors on  Sunday, January 10, 2021 at The Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville, Mich.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville.  For further details please visit their website at