ELK RAPIDS — Thomas C. Priest, age 57, of Elk Rapids, passed away peacefully in his home on Aug. 17, 2013, surrounded by his family. Tom was born in Detroit on Oct. 29, 1955, to Gordon Priest and Phyllis Bedell.
In the late 1970s, Tom moved to the Elk Rapids area, where, on Oct. 25, 1985, he married Marianne McGovern.
He is survived by Marianne and their two sons, John Priest, age 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Michael Priest, age 23, of Elk Rapids; sisters, Kathy Priest of Greenville, S.C., Linda Neiswander of Charleston, S.C., and Mary Kay Schroeter of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; and brother, Robert Priest of Monroe, N.C.
Tom worked at Northwestern Michigan College for nearly 20 years before creating TCP Landscaping, the business he nurtured for the rest of his life. He was also a skilled artisan potter, who labored with ardor at both his craft and trade. Beloved by family, friends, and clients, Tom leaves behind a legacy of enduring gardens, fine pottery, and love for his family.
A public memorial service will be held at the McGovern residence, 644 Cromwell Dr., Traverse City, on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 3 to 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Grass River Natural Area by visiting www.grassriver.org.