A memorial service will be held in summer 2020, details to be announced at a later date.
Thomas Hayes, born September 16, 1959, departed this world on April 30, 2020. He will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved him, especially his wife of 35 years, Sandra Hayes, and three children, Jessica Belanger (Brent), Christen, and Brandon. He will be forever remembered as “Papa” to his three beautiful grandchildren, Clay, Scarlett, and Sophie. Thomas is survived by his mother, Janet Hayes, brother David Hayes, and sister Holly Dawson (Ben Dawson). He will join his beloved father, Donald Hayes, in eternal rest.
Thomas, also known as Thom or Thomas P, grew up on the border of West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills, MI. As a child, he gained a love for the public service and outdoors through Boy Scouts, achieving Eagle Scout status. His father, Don, taught him the meaning of hard work as he designed and built their vacation home in northern Michigan, recruiting his children and their friends to help with the build, creating everlasting memories. Thom often told stories of the Summer of ‘72, and reflected on the impact it had on his childhood.
He attended Harrison High, where he met his highschool sweetheart, Sandra Dawson. Together they attended Michigan State University (Go Green!) and are proud Spartan alums. Thom and Sandy married on July 20, 1984, and enjoyed early years of marriage living in sunny Margate, Florida. On January 21, 1987 they were blessed with their first child, Jessica Leigh. The happy family moved to Milford, Michigan in 1990, and welcomed their second daughter, Christen Marie on August 13th. The family was complete with the arrival of Thom’s first and only son, Brandon Paul, on August 8, 1993. And, while he had many pets over the years, their family dog, Jack, had a special place in his heart.
While he enjoyed being a father, nothing made him smile bigger than news that he was going to be a grandfather. The joy on his face at the sight of his three grandkids was exuberant, even in his final days. Clay Thomas, born November 14, 2016, Scarlett Leigh and Sophie Jeanne, born October 18, 2019, will hear stories of their Papa, and know how happy they made him.
Thom was a proud Milford resident, and enjoyed raising his family there, spectating little league baseball, football, cheerleading, dance recitals, amongst other activities his children participated in. His favorite hobby was gardening and landscaping his yard in the village, thoughtfully building a beautiful place for his family to enjoy. If he wasn’t outside working on the lawn, he was manning the grill, often bringing his family together for an unforgettable slab of ribs. Additionally, he was a very skilled woodworker, a trait passed down from his father, and has the tool collection to prove it. He enjoyed watching and listening to sports, even through the frequent disappointments from his Detroit teams. Thom was a true patriot, cared deeply for his country, always revering and honoring veterans when he could.
His family, immediate and extended, will hold sacred their memories of vacations in northern Michigan in Eastport and Northport, where they enjoyed life on Grand Traverse bay boating and swimming. Passing the time golfing, playing darts or pool, exploring downtown, watching July 4 fireworks, and spending quality time together will be thought of often.
More than anything, Thomas, Thom, Thomas P, Honey, Dad, Papa, will be remembered for his huge heart and generous spirit. While he was a quiet man, his love and affection was amplified through warm hugs, acts of service, thoughtfulness towards others, loving messages, and sincere smile. He was always truly genuine, and made sure you felt taken care of, and special.
Health complications hindered Thom for the better part of the last decade, and sadly ended his life on Earth early in the morning on Thursday, April 30th, 2020, at the age of 61. His family cared for him in the final weeks of his life in their family home, and was by his side until the end.
His final resting spot will be in Eastport, Michigan on Grand Traverse Bay, his heaven on Earth - what he called “God’s Country”. His family, and those who knew and loved him, will miss him so dearly, and pray he is at peace in his eternal rest. A memorial service will be held in his honor in Summer 2020, details to be announced at a later date.