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Tom Ringelberg

• Oct 2, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Thomas Smith Ringelberg, 68, died suddenly of a heart attack on Thursday, September 28, 2017, in Kentucky. He was on vacation with his wife, Gail, and longtime college friends.

Tom was quick to make friends and he always seemed to know what kind words were needed to comfort and inspire people. His strong belief in a loving God enabled him to be a hopeful and optimistic person. Forever a grateful and humble man, Tom was appreciated for his humor and kindness.

Tom had many passions but he was most passionate about his children. Jeanie Kwon arrived in 1978 and Jeffrey Jun joined us in 1981. Tom was extremely proud of his children and the adults they became. When Jeanie married Jake Quigley in 2008, Tom was excited to add another son to the family.

Some know about his passion for college football and basketball, especially the MSU Spartans. Many games were see from the same season seats his parents sat in at MSU stadium and he was never quiet about how he felt about a call the ref made.

As passionate as he was about watching college sports, he was just as passionate about playing golf. A typical golfer, he was never satisfied with his playing, but he always loved being on a golf course. Even though a member of Spring Lake Country Club, he played many beautiful courses in the USA and Europe and collected a logo golf ball from each. He looked forward to the annual trips he took to play the golf courses around Myrtle Beach, SC with cherished friends. Just as cherished were the Sigma Chi brothers he made while at WMU and the multitude of rounds of golf played up north at Boyne. The Boulders in Carefree, AZ was another favorite spot to play.

Tom loved being able to give back to his community. His passion for Habitat for Humanity, the Tri-Cities YMCA, and the Tri-Cities Historical Society gave him much pleasure and he was honored to serve on their boards. Reading the life stories of students while serving on the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation Scholarship Committee humbled him. Being a member of the Church of the Dunes gave him security in faith, good friends, and a sense of belonging. He dearly loved singing tenor in the choir.

Tom was born March 23, 1949, in Grand Haven at NOCH to Harold (Buss) and Eleanor (Shaw) Ringelberg. After spending his elementary years at Grand Haven Christian School, he attended West Michigan Christian in Muskegon and graduated in 1967. He then went onto Western Michigan University and soon met Gail McMichael. Between their junior and senior years of college, they married in Hawaii on July 7, 1971.

He began his career as the Assistant Director of Admissions at Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. In 1974 he and Gail moved back to Grand Haven where Tom joined the family business, Challenge Stamping and Porcelain, running the steel door division. When the company was sold, he left to work for Jack Gale and Ken Beukema as a manufacturer’s representative selling residential building products. He then started his own business, TR Sales Company, and was self employed until his retirement. Even after retirement, he cherished the business friends he made while traveling MI, IN, IL, and OH.

Tom is survived by his wife, Gail; children, Jeff Ringelberg and Jeanie (Jake) Ringelberg Quigley; sister, Carole Dvorak and her children, Sarah (Kurt) Livermore and Martin (Stephanie) Deur, plus great niece and nephews. He also considered close family Maurice (Carol) McMichael and their children, Matthew (Brigette) and Mark plus a great niece and nephew. He stayed connected to many cousins living near and far.

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at the United Methodist Church of the Dunes. Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, October 3, 2017, at The VanZantwick Chapel (620 Washington Ave.). Interment will take place in Lake Forest Cemetery. Memorial contributions in memory of Tom may be given to: 4 th of July Fireworks Fund – Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Teen Adventure Club – Tri-Cities Family YMCA, or Tri-Cities Area Habitat for Humanity. Please sign the family’s online guestbook at www.sytsemafh.com.

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