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Thomas Doherty

August 30, 1930 - January 8, 2016
Livonia, MI



Wednesday, January 13, 2016
3:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 525-9020

Rosary at 7:00 PM

Driving Directions


Thursday, January 14, 2016
10:00 AM EST
St Michael the Archangel Catholic Church
11441 Hubbard
Livonia, MI 48150
(734) 261-1455

Instate 9:30am until Mass begins


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

The capuchins
1820 Mt Elliott St
Detroit, MI 48207

The Salvation Army
16130 Northland Drive
Southfield, MI 48075

American Cancer Society
20450 Civic Center Drive
Southfield, MI 48076


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Cardwell Florist
(734) 421-3567

Life Story / Obituary


Thomas Doherty loved nothing more than the simple things life had to offer. From meager beginnings, he worked hard and spending time at home with his beloved family brought him the greatest joy. Always a calm, positive man, Thomas rarely raised his voice and his good natured ways were welcomed wherever he went. Although he worked hard to provide for the family entrusted to his care, Thomas loved a good laugh and enjoyed bringing laughter to the days of others. Dearly missed, he will be fondly remembered.

The crash of the stock market in late 1929 created financial turmoil from coast to coast, and by 1930, 1,350 banks had failed in the U.S. The entertainment world was a welcome deviation from everyday worries while the infamous cartoon character, Betty Boop made her debut to the delight of many. It was during these changing times when Daniel and Rose (O’Malley) Doherty of rural Canada welcomed the birth of their son, Thomas into their arms on August 30, 1930.

Born quite sickly, young Thomas was not expected to survive but grew into a strapping, young child alongside his six siblings. Despite bleak financial times, Thomas enjoyed many childhood adventures with his brothers, Charley, Larry, Pat, and Dan as well as his sisters, Mary and Madlene. In 1941 Thomas and his family moved to Detroit, Michigan where they made their home on Trumball Avenue. Although he was always afraid of being deported back to Canada throughout his youth, life in the states provided more opportunity for Thomas and his family. Even so, Thomas and his family were quite poor and as a youngster he shoveled coal to help provide for his family.

As members of St. Leo Roman Catholic Church on 15th Street in Detroit, Thomas also attended Catholic school there. He detested wearing knickers and could hardly wait when the day came when he could wear long pants. One of his favorite things to do as a young man was to enter Tiger Stadium late in the games when they opened the gates at no charge. Thomas went on to attend St. Leo Catholic High School where he loved playing football until graduating.

Following school, Thomas took on a job as a truck driver to help support his family but was soon drafted to serve during the Korean War. At the age of 18 he entered the U.S. Army, serving in the 101st Airborne Division. Through the years, Thomas loved sharing stories about his days in the Army and was very proud to have been part of the Army’s soccer team when they won the European championship. Over the years he also came to enjoy many good times with his fellow veterans and friends at the Lyskawa V.F.W. Post #7546 in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

Thomas was honorably discharged from the service and returned home to further his education. He attended Henry Ford Community College where he went on to become a journeyman toolmaker. For the next 35 years until his retirement, Thomas was a faithful employee of General Motors.

During this time in Thomas’ life he met a young woman by the name of Helen Bednarz through family friends. After dating for a time and falling deeply in love, they were happily married at Sts. Peter & Paul's Catholic Church in 1957. They soon started a family of their own and were exceedingly blessed to welcome five children, David, Greg, Diane, Patrick, and Carolyn. With his young family by his side, Thomas loved vacationing with friends at Camp Dearborn every Labor Day week for many years. As their children grew older they camped in northern Michigan where Thomas could keep the entire campground awake with his snoring! Later in life he enjoyed traveling with his wife and children to destinations such as Hawaii, Japan, and in northern Michigan to the Traverse City Bay area.

Thomas was an avid reader and enjoyed working on crossword puzzles. He and his family attended St. Michael’s Catholic Church where each of his children also attended school. Spending time with his children and grandchildren always proved to be an enjoyable time for Thomas. He loved entertaining his grandkids with outdoor activities and whenever they got together through the years they always liked playing a good game of cards together. He was also a fan of James Bond and John Wayne movies. Thomas especially loved his favorite John Wayne movie, "The Quiet Man" set in none other than the picturesque landscapes of Ireland. He also liked watching football, baseball, and playing the lottery.

From his earliest beginnings, Thomas Doherty learned the value of hard work. He set a fine example for his children to live by, and was devoted in providing a good life for his wife and children. Most importantly, Thomas lived with quiet strength and faith. Blessed beyond compare, he loved his family dearly and leaves lasting memories to be forever treasured.

Thomas Doherty, age 85, died on Friday, January 8, 2016. He was the beloved husband of Helen; loving father of David (Josephine), Greg, Diane (Larry) McCarthy, Patrick (Leticia) and Carolyn (David) Beecher; dearest grandfather of Samantha, Sean, Angelo, Nick, Michael, and Jacob; a dear brother to Charley, Larry, Mary, and the late Pat, Dan, and Madlene. Visitation with Thomas’ family will be held Wednesday from 3-9 PM with a Rosary at 7:00 PM at the Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile (between Middlebelt and Merriman). He will lie instate Thursday from 9:30 AM until his funeral Mass begins, 10:00 AM at St. Michael Catholic Church, 11441 Hubbard (Plymouth Rd east of Farmington). To share a favorite memory or photo of Thomas and to sign his online guest book, please visit www.TurowskiLifeStory.com.