Thomas L. Norkooli

Resided in Rock, MI
Died October 12, 2019

Thomas L. Norkooli, age 64, of Rock, passed away at home unexpectedly Saturday, October 12, 2019.

Tom was born December 31, 1954, in Escanaba, MI, the son of Arne and Veronica “Honey” (Huff) Norkooli.

A 1973 graduate of Rock High School, Tom continued his education first at Bay de Noc Community College and received his Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude from Northern Michigan University in 1977. In 1993, not only did he earn his Master of Arts degree but was also awarded The Outstanding Graduate Award in the college of Arts and Sciences from Northern Michigan University.

Tom started his 41-year long career in insurance working for several companies as an insurance adjuster and claims manager before venturing out on his own to form his own company and become and independent adjuster. He was a hard-working man, and far exceeded a 40-hour work week his entire career.

In his spare time, Tom could be found working and enjoying his land in Rock which was originally his childhood home. He always enjoyed a hot sauna or a having a quick cup of coffee with one of the local townspeople; but first and most importantly he was dedicated to his daughters and grandchildren.

Tom would say, “he was the jack of all trades, master of none,” but that did not stop people from picking his brain or seeking his advice. He helped many people in his lifetime and will be greatly missed.

Tom is survived by:
3 Daughters: Jennifer (Shawn) Norkooli-Starnes of Gladstone, MI
Janell Ansell of Escanaba,MI
Lauren Norkooli of Green Bay, WI

1 Sister: Bonnie Norkooli of Gladstone, MI 2 half sisters Linda Maki of Rock, MI and Judy Koski of Gwinn, MI and 1 half brother Michael (Gus) Mattila of Rock
3 Grandchildren: MacKenzie, Rianna, and Xavier.

Tom was preceded in death by his Parents and Brother, Jerry Norkooli and half-brother Jim Minor

Family will receive friends Friday, October 18, 2019 from 4:00 until 6:00 PM at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be directed to the family to establish a scholarship fund in memory of Tom. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Norkooli Family.

13 Tributes for “Thomas L. Norkooli

    Tom was one of a kind person that amazed me with all his knowledge. I worked with Tom when I was just a secretary in Marquette with Crawford & Company and I would come down to the Escanaba office to do filing. He was such a hard working guy and always enjoyed our conversations. Just talked to him a couple weeks ago as we finally bought land in the U.P. and told him I would be seeing him for lunch soon. I learned so much from him and he always had time to talk to me and share his wisdom. I will miss him lots and I will think of him every time I have a difficult claims question and know that Tom would know the answer. Thinking of his family during this difficult time. Please know he touched many people. Love, Cheri Wilkinson

    Oh I feel so badly to learn of this. Tom was a good guy. Among other things he helped me with a tax problem when he didn’t have to. His intelligence and solid way will be missed by many no doubt.

    So sorry for your loss! Tom was such a great guy! Meek and mild! I will miss chatting with him at the donut shop as will many of our other customers who came to know Tom as their friend! Hugs!

    I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of Tom. He was a very kind man and great insurance adjuster, I worked with him in the past and he was a very hard working man. He will be truly missed! All of my sympathy to his family and friends.

    Susan and I are very upset by this news. Tom was my Claims Manager at Citizens Ins. back in the late 80’s. He was a great guy and always quick with a one-liner. Tom sold us our very 1st Christmas Tree for our 1st Christmas as husband and wife. He claimed it was from his Christmas Tree Farm. I always told him I felt he probably cut it down from someone’s backyard on his way into the office… he always would laugh and have some kind of funny response. Once a week I would join Tom, Bernie, & Mark K. for lunch somewhere in town. After lunch we would get an ice-cream cone and drive around the area for 20-30 minutes listening to Tom tell his stories and all of his philosophical anecdotes about life. Tom often spoke of “one’s own mortality”. It was always hilarious seeing Tom come into the office in the morning, after he spent the night “counting cards” at one of the local Casino’s. He would say something witty about his “throbbing headache” as he was totally zoned in “counting cards”. Over the years we would get together for dinner once or twice a year when I was driving through town to meet clients. I was hoping to see him next week in fact…. He went way too soon, Tom will be missed a great deal!

    We are so sorry to hear the news of Toms passing.
    He was a good aquaintence and was enjoyed by all over a cup of coffee at the donut connection in Escanaba.
    Very few have his gift of intelligent conversation,most times people would just listen!
    He was very proud of his daughters and his Finnish heritage.
    “Voi jumala siunaa Sinua ja pitaa sinut tom “.

    Every time we met, Tom was an encouragement and joy to speak to. Very understanding and respectful. Sometimes even helpful in squeezing extra money from my insurance company

    Tom was a really good man, fun, intelligent, honest and hardworking. We spent a lot of time together in high school and I enjoyed debating with him on many issues, politics, religion etc., He will be missed and I am very sorry for your loss.

    I was shocked and saddened to hear of Toms passing. I had the great pleasure to work for him over the past several years on fire loss claims and had just spoke with him last week. We shared some laughs over the years and most of them included Jerry Peltz stories…a common great friend! My prayers to all of his family.

    Sue Sedenquist
    Appraisal Associates of Delta County

    Tom was a good person who always shared his thoughts with us at the Donut Shop. I never knew he was 1/2 brother to my cousin, Jim Minor….we will miss him.

    We were sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a very kind hearted man and was always willing to give a helping hand when someone needed help. He will be missed by his family and friends.

    Tom was a great friend to Nate and me back when we lived in Rock. A very intelligent and friendly fellow who’s intellect reached beyond the norm. I picture him and Nate engaged in a debate or playing a game of chess somewhere in the beyond. Condolences to all effected by his passing.

    I am saddened to hear about Tom’s passing . Tom and I started out in the automotive industry almost the same time . Tom the adjuster and Me the estimater in the body shop . Tom always had a great out look on on life and was always telling a story or joking about the the automotive industry .We worked together for almost 3 decades .He was a far and honest man ,the insurance adjuster was known as the bad guy from our side of the fence , not Tom ! We became friends , he always had a story or an analogy about things. Later in life I was headed to green bay I stopped in a coffee shop in esky to get a cup of coffee and a donut for the road and ran into Tom there . We had a nice visit . Tom was a credit to humanity and left pleasant lasting memories to me . RIP Tom

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