KINGSLEY — Thomas J. Charest, 70, passed away suddenly at home on Jan. 1, 2013. He was born to Walter and Helen (Butler) Charest, in Redford, on Sept. 19, 1942.
Thomas graduated from James Monroe High School, Los Angeles, Calif., in 1960.
He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1961 and served as an intercept operator.
After his time in the U.S. Air Force, in January of 1967, Thomas moved back to Traverse City and married Sally Oliver. They raised two children together while he was working as a general contractor and part owner of Bayshore Construction and Land Development. He was later employed by Dave Gleason.
Thomas was president of Northwestern Michigan Horseman's Association. He volunteered for the Cherry Festival Parade and organized the horse division of the Grand Traverse County Mounted Patrol.
Thomas also enjoyed hunting deer and grouse, gardening and camping. He especially loved spending time with his family and grandchildren. He was an exceptionally generous caregiver, always giving, never taking.
Thomas is survived by his wife, Sally (Oliver) Charest; daughter, Marci Rene Charest; son, Michael (Deanna) Charest; granddaughters, Jane and Nora Charest; sisters, Peggy (Roger) Baccus, Cathee Charest, Dolores (Erik) Eliassen, Julie Elzinga and Patty (Mark) Buffum; brother, Ron (Doreen) Elzinga; and his beloved dog, Mitzi.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be held at Covell Funeral Home in Kingsley on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, from 2 to 4 p.m. A memorial service will take place at noon, with visitation one hour prior, on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at Covell Funeral Home in Kingsley. Following the service, there will be a luncheon at the Kingsley United Methodist Church.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Reining Liberty Ranch Horse Rescue.
Please share your fond memories and condolences at www.CovellKingsley.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Covell Funeral Home of Kingsley.