Thomas W. Linjala

Resided in Rock, MI
Died July 18, 2021

ROCK — The family of Thomas “Tom” Walter Linjala, 69, of Rock, invites relatives and friends to join in the celebration of his life at his funeral at the Rock Bible Chapel on Friday, July 30. Tom died of natural causes on July 18, 2021, at Aurora Medical Center in Marinette, Wis.

“Tommy” was born on Jan. 14, 1952, in Escanaba, Mich., a son of Walter and Virginia (Hill) Linjala. He attended Rock Public School where he graduated in 1970 after achieving perfect attendance during his high school years. In 1972, he earned an Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering from Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba.

Tom learned about hard work early in his life, peeling his first stick of poplar at age five and working in the woods at age 15. He also baled hay at the local farms in West Rock. Tom worked in road construction, mason tending, and as a laborer before completing his five-year electrician apprenticeship with Rapid Electric in 1978. He was employed as an electrician with several companies throughout his career, wiring at homes, schools, the casino, a medical center, a ship, a refinery, a gasification plant, electrical substations, nuclear power plants, and paper mills. Prior to retiring in 2015, Tom worked for MJ Electric on various projects at the paper mill in Escanaba. In addition to Michigan, jobsites also included Arizona, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. Tom was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 906.

Music was a big part of Tom’s life. He loved attending live performances, listening to music, and singing songs. Among the wishes he completed on his bucket list was going to an Elton John concert. Another highlight of Tom’s life was performing “Puff the Magic Dragon” on stage with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary. Shortly before his death, Tom had made a list of local outdoor concerts to attend in Delta, Marquette and Alger counties. He also was an original member of the Rock Boogie Fest, volunteering his electrical skills to the local cause.

Tom was a devoted member of the Remnants Barbershop Chorus, participating in the group’s various fundraiser concerts and other venues including singingat local community events, senior centers, and nursing homes. In addition to enjoying performing with his fellow barbershoppers for the past nine years, Tom cherished the many friendships he made along the way.

Other hobbies throughout Tom’s life included hunting, fishing, trapping, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, playing horseshoes, and working on vehicles. Tom was an avid gun collector and was a member of the Delta County Gun Owners Association and the National Trappers Association. In his younger years, he played on the local men’s basketball team and two softball teams.

Tom also enjoyed sightseeing throughout the Upper Peninsula and exploring the region’s woods and waters. As a child and as a man, his playground was the forests and Escanaba River in West Rock. He hunted all his life including partridge and deer hunting. He would not bait deer but preferred to sit in a tree stand or out in the open no matter what kind of weather occurred. Each year, he looked forward to deer camp and the comradery of his hunting buddies.

In addition to appreciating nature’s woods, rivers, lakes and animals, Tom was also fascinated by weather and the changing seasons. He enjoyed viewing clouds and sunsets. He was aware of approaching rain and snow storms, always keeping an eye on the local radar on his cell phone.

Tom, also known as “Toivo” to many of his co-workers, was very proud of being 100 percent Finnish.He was witty and had a great sense of humor. He also was a knowledgeable man with a competitive spiritwho had to do things the safe and right way which often meant “his way.”
During his early 30’s, Tom’s life was radically changed when he committed himself to God. That commitment to the Lord led him to his sobriety which he was proud to maintain during the past 37 years. His faith also led him to focus on the needs of others rather than himself.He was a member of the Rock Bible Chapel and a former member of the church choir.

For many years, Tom had served the local community as an EMT. More recently, he was the Ewing Township supervisor. He was always helping friends and family and often offered his assistance to strangers in need.

Tom married his first love, Rae Ann “Ann” (Mattson) Niemela on July 20, 1984. She passed away on June 24, 2010. Tom and his second love, Jenny (Jokela) Lancour, were inseparable for the past nine years.

Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Virginia and Walter Linjala; a sister, Karen Richards; a sister-in-law, Yvonne Jokela; and a nephew, Jesse Burney.

Tom is survived by his girlfriend, Jenny Lancour of Gladstone; his siblings, Jeanne (Kenneth) LuDuc of Escanaba, Mich., Judith Burney of Wells, Mich., and John Linjala of Rock, Mich.; nieces and nephews, Venessa Tillman, Kenny LeDuc, Lisa (John) Martin, Michael LeDuc, Karen (Ray “Bear”) Phillips, and Colin Burney; great nieces and great nephews, Catherine Tillman, Alyssa Tillman, Emily Martin, Logan Martin, Johnny Phillips, Jesse Phillips, Katy Scales and Nathan Burney; step-children Shawn (Richard) Hatch, Scott Niemela, and Heather (Joel) Jacobs; step-grandchildren, Morgan Hatch, Danielle Niemela, Alex Niemela, Logan Jacobs and Roland Lancour; and many cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.

Tom’s life will be celebrated during a funeral at the Rock Bible Chapel on Friday. Visitation will take place from 3-5 p.m. with a service at 5 p.m. Dinner will follow. The family will bury Tom’s ashes at the Rock Cemetery during a private gathering at a later date. The Skradski Funeral Home of Gladstone is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

17 Tributes for “Thomas W. Linjala

    Tom, was my cousin, best friend and brother. We have sang together out at camp and hunted together for 40 years. I am truly hurt and will miss you dearly. You are now walking in paradise and singing to the Lord. Godspeed my bestfriend.

    I would just like to send my condolences to the family of Tom Linjala, He was a good man and a great friend.He will be missed .❤️

    So sad, gone so early! He will be truly missed by many. Tom and Jenny were such good friends. Will miss Tom’s wonderful sense of humor. Rest in peace dear friend.

    I’d like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Tom, he was a good man and a good friend,One of the best huggers ,So glad I was able to get one of those hugs last week in Elmers. You are gone old friend but you will not be forgotten.❤️

    Dident know Tom personally. But been friends with his sister for years, and she always spoke highly of him. My deepest condolences. May he Rest In.Peace

    I would like to send my condolences to all of Tom’s family. He was a grandfather to my kids and a great father in law.He was always there when we needed him. We are glad we got to see him in December when we were there.

    I first met Tom through my husband as they were St. Nicholas neighbors. I remember thinking what a great couple he and Bev made. They always looked like they were enjoying each others company and having fun. Years later Tom became the B.A. for local 979. I remember him as being fair, friendly and concerned for the members that he was representing. Tom was a wonderful man. My deepest condolences. May he rest in peace.

    Tom spent his last days on earth doing something he loved with someone he loved. We should all be that fortunate. Friend and neighbor, you will be missed.

    I worked on many projects with Tom in construction world. He was a very good worker with an infectious attitude of happiness.

    I worked in the storeroom at The Papermill. I saw Tom quite often. Always enjoyed talking to him. He was a super nice guy. Rest in Peace Tom!

    Tom and I are first cousins. He took me under his wing mentoring me in our mutual enjoyment of working on cars, teaching me a lot about automotive maintenance and repair that sparked a keen interest within. Car mechanics is still a hobby of mine to this day; idle hands …..!!

    My condolences to Tom’s entire family…he was a good man. He’s earned his wings and is now singing with the angels. R.I.P. Tom❗

    Uncle Tom,
    There is so much I want to say. You were taken from us unexpectedly, & out hearts hurt so much. I know you would tell me that we will all be reunited again one day in God’s kingdom. It is just hard knowing that I will never see your smiling face again. I miss all of your hugs, and especially how no one could ever stay sad around you. You have always had such a jovial spirit. You loved to pull pranks & make everyone laugh. I remember as a child, I was always for ever calling out ,”Uncle Tom,” asking you a million questions, so, my nickname soon became Uncle Lisa, which Uncle John started to pick up too. It never really bothered me, only made me laugh! I loved how you always let each of us kids know how we were all special to you. You would take us on trips to Uncle Elmer’s pond, or the Escanaba River, and spend time with us at Mummu’s or Grannie’s house. You never treated is like just the kids. There is so much more I want to say, but I suspect I will write it all down, & maybe read it at your funeral. I know you are in good hands, as I know God has you now, & I also know where you are, you are happy. Uncle Tom,
    There is so much I want to say. You were taken from us unexpectedly, & out hearts hurt so much. I know you would tell me that we will all be reunited again one day in God’s kingdom. It is just hard knowing that I will never see your smiling face again. I miss all of your hugs, and especially how no one could ever stay sad around you. You have always had such a jovial spirit. You loved to pull pranks & make everyone laugh. I remember as a child, I was always for ever calling out ,”Uncle Tom,” asking you a million questions, so, my nickname soon became Uncle Lisa, which Uncle John started to pick up too. It never really bothered me, only made me laugh! I loved how you always let each of us kids know how we were all special to you. You would take us on trips to Uncle Elmer’s pond, or the Escanaba River, and spend time with us at Mummu’s or Grannie’s house. You never treated is like just the kids. There is so much more I want to say, but I suspect I will write it all down, & maybe read it at your funeral. I know you are in good hands, as I know God has you now, & I also know where you are, you are happy.
    Forever in our hearts, love “Uncle Lisa”

    To Jenny, Tom’s family and friend’s, I send my sincere condolences. I saw more of Tom after he became our township supervisor and attended our Board of Review meetings. He always looked forward to seeing what kind of “goodies” I would bring to our meetings, but always quick to thank me for what I brought. He never missed an opportunity to tease, and get one over on you, if he could. I’m sorry, due to an appointment, I can’t attend his service, but you will all be in my thoughts and prayers. I will miss his smile!

    To Jenny
    We are so very sorry for your loss! Tom was a perfect match for you!!
    “He watched over you in this life; and we believe he watches over you still! “
    We love you ❤️ and please feel free to stop by anytime or call if there is anything at all that we can help you with!
    Love: Linda and Dan Robitaille

    Tom and I rode the same bus #2 together along with his brother John and his beautiful sisters. Such a nice family. We were in the same class and he was always a gentleman. Having moved downstate I hadn’t seen Tom a lot.When I did he was ,like in school , a kind and gentle fellow. If the girls & John remember me I hope they are all well and know that Tom will always be remembered…..and I am SURE you have many wonderful memories to keep you smiling. As you all heal from this loss. God bless you all.Peace.

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