At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Wounded Warrier Project
P.O. Box 758516
Topeka, KS 66675-8516
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Tom Hosford was a devoted husband, father, and friend to many. He lived his life to the fullest and was known for his genuine good nature and generosity. Tom leaves behind a rich collection of fond memories for all who knew and loved him.
The son of Omar and Patricia (Obermeyer) Hosford, Thomas Michael Hosford was born on July 14, 1945, in Los Angeles, California. Tom had a younger brother, Bob and an older sister, Jan. He was especially close to his brother, Bob, and Jan, being older, was like a second mother to him. He eventually had two half siblings, Kevin and Debbie.
The Hosford family relocated to Michigan when Tom was young where his father established a small used car lot near the Choo-Choo Grill on Plainfield NE in Grand Rapids while his mother worked at Lear Jet Electronics making circuit boards. As a young boy, Tom experienced the death of his father in a trucking accident. It was then when they began living with his grandmother until his mother later married Leon Sosnowski.
As a kid, Tom had two very close friends, Dick Covell and John Bouwens. Both of their families played a significant role in Tom’s youth. They enjoyed playing sports and made the Westside Youth Center their second home! They even tried their hand at tap dancing but were later told they didn’t have the talent that was even worth the fifty cents per lesson! A highlight of these years was when Tom won a brand new baseball glove after his victory of beating out his brother for a sports award at Lincoln Park!
Raised with a strong foundation of faith, Tom attended St. James Catholic Elementary School, although he knew how to stir up trouble having spent much time serving his punishment in the coatroom! Little did the nuns know, that while back there, Tom would occasionally help himself to treats from the other students’ lunch boxes! During his ninth-grade year, he went to Saint Joseph Seminary but found that it wasn’t his calling. After graduating from Catholic Central High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force setting off for boot camp at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. He was proud to have spent two years in Turkey as a dental assistant as well as playing quarterback in the European National Football League. He led his team to victory and earned himself the MVP award! After his honorable discharge, Tom went on to earn his teaching certificate from Grand Valley State University, later obtaining his Master’s degree from Central Michigan University.
Tom met his future wife, Karen, at the Shamrock Bar who was there hustling pool for Harvey Wallbangers! Of course, Tom always claimed he let Karen win! After a whirlwind courtship for roughly a year, they married on July 31, 1971, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The happy couple honeymooned to northern Michigan’s beautiful Mackinac Island and Traverse City. Afterward, they settled on the southwest side of town in Wyoming. True Westsiders at heart, they moved back to the westside in 1981, and together they raised two wonderful sons, Michael and Tom. Even though Tom had a reputation for being late at times, he was there when both of his sons were born. Being a kid at heart, Tom was a fun-loving dad. He loved his boys unconditionally, and would sacrifice anything to keep them safe. He was immensely proud of their accomplishments and they never doubted his love for them.
A wonderful provider, Tom worked a rewarding career as an elementary teacher with Rockford Public Schools where he was well-liked by the students and staff alike. He absolutely loved turning kids on to physical activity and as a physical educator, he started a running club where students “ran to the moon” during their lunch hour. Tom was also gifted as a girls' basketball coach. He had a way of getting the most out of his players by making every practice and game fun! Tom truly cared for each and every team member often mentoring them beyond the court. One of his closest friends, Bob Schichtel, had many stories to share about coaching together. John Richard, his other partner in crime, shared many coaching adventures and a close friendship over the years. Tom was a loyal friend who genuinely enjoyed people.
Never one to remain idle, Tom enjoyed many activities. He spent his time fishing, golfing, biking, and jogging. Although Karen wasn’t much of a traveler, they enjoyed several overnight trips to area casinos . . . and they weren't very lucky! He always looked forward to his trips to Florida to spend time with his dear friend, Bob Elmer. The University of Michigan was his number one team for many years and he never gave up on the Detroit Lions, although he never wanted to wear any of their apparel! When it came to music, Tom favored the oldies and was known to drive around in his 1969 Pontiac GTO with the King Tones blaring on the radio! When it came to reading, Tom loved Discovery Magazine. He had a great interest in science, especially astronomy. Retirement afforded him the time to frequent the flea market and estate sales around town. One never knew what monstrositries he would pick up or who would be at the receiving end of them!
Tom was the type of person who would give you the shirt off his back. He had a joy for life whether he was wheeling and dealing at the flea market or coaching an AAU team. Everything was always a "once in a lifetime" event for Tom, and he enjoyed many of them over the years! His optimism was contagious bringing smiles and laughter to the lives of people he touched. Just as kind as he was caring, he will forever be remembered for his incredible love for both people and animals. He will be sadly missed by all.
Thomas M. Hosford, age 76, of Grand Rapids, MI, died peacefully on Sunday, November 28, 2021, at home surrounded by his family. Along with his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his brother, Kevin Sosnowski. Tom is survived by his wife of 50 years, Karen (Ampulski) and their sons, Michael and Thomas Hosford as well as by his brother, Robert (Vinetta) Hosford, sister Jan (LD) Taylor, sisters-in-law; Deborah (Chris) Danko and Shirley Ampulski, and many nieces and nephews. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Friday, December 3, 2021, 11:00 AM at the Basilica of St. Adalbert, (654 Davis Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). Friends and family may gather at the church on Friday from 10:00 AM until the Mass begins at 11:00 AM. Memorial contributions may be directed to Faith Hospice, (2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546). To sign his guest book or to leave your own memory of Tom, please visit his web page www.heritagelifestory.com.