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.
Elks Major Projects
PO Box 141605
Grand Rapids, MI 49514
Life Story / Obituary
Thomas Stribley, 73, regained control over his body on September 8, 2019, ending a 3 1/2 year fight against cancer. Tom maintained his sense of humor throughout the journey.
Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up in Plymouth, MI where he wreaked havoc on the small town. After high school, he went on to attend Schoolcraft College and Eastern Michigan University. Moving to Grand Rapids, he joined the insurance industry, working for Central Life, Metropolitan and Universal Insurance. After leaving the industry, he worked for Wyoming Public Schools at Omega High School in several capacities. He moved on to GRPS where he came the Chief GED Examiner.
Tom joined the Elks and became an Exalted Ruler. He loved his Elk brothers and sisters and spent some serious time at the club. And the golf was good! Tom loved eating good food until the cancer took away his ability to eat and drink. If there is food in heaven, we thank God that he is whole again. He loved golfing, fishing and laughing with family and friends. His wit was sharp. And the man could watch sports for hours! He loved all sports. Except Cricket. He could never get the hang of Cricket. We had a tradition of going Christmas tree hunting the day after Thanksgiving every year. It was always a competition to see who would find that year's tree. I could tell you who won most years, but that wouldn't be fair. Tom would cut the tree down and off we would go. He used to joke that we only brought him along to lay on the frozen ground and cut the tree.
Tom's biggest joy was family. He leaves behind his wife Beth (nee' DeShane) and son, Jordan Burke (Carmen Wittkopp).Also missing him are his siblings Steve Stribley, Jean (Will) Turney, Sue Ellen (Larry) Swearingen and Matt (Cindy) Stribley. His in-laws include Lois DeShane, Mickey (Don) Geldersma, Jim DeShane, John (Jana) DeShane and Tim (Karen) DeShane. We would be remiss in not mentioning his many nieces and nephews who adored spending time with their Uncle Strib. His friends were a huge support to Tom, especially in his last year. Special thanks to Dick, Joe and Dave, (and their wonderful spouses) as well as neighbors Tom and Kathy. We thank all of you for the outpouring of love and care.
Tom's Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, October 11 at 1PM. It will be held at Heritage Life Story at 1833 Plainfield Avenue NE in Grand Rapids. In lieu of flowers (and the good Lord knows we have enough plants) please consider donating to Elks Major Projects which supports children with special needs. To donate, go to www.michiganelksmajorproject.org or Michigan Major Project, PO Box 141605 , Grand Rapids MI 49514