Cover photo for Thomas Cawley's Obituary
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Thomas Cawley

December 24, 1932 — November 19, 2023

Gaylord

Thomas Cawley

Thomas (Tom) Cawley, age 90, a resident of Gaylord, Michigan, died at his home on Sunday, November 19, 2023. The son of the late John and Erma (Tyler) Cawley, he was born on December 24, 1932, in Saginaw, Michigan. He married Emma L. Bommarito on August 15, 1953. Together they shared over 40 years of marriage prior to Emma’s passing in 1993. He married Elsie Schrader on February 26, 1995.

Tom graduated in 1950 from Arthur Hill High School where he was on the swim team. That same year, he became the State of Michigan High School Class A Diving Champion. Shortly after graduating, he served in the army at Fort Carson in Colorado. Upon returning to Saginaw, he began over 37 years of employment with the City of Saginaw, ultimately retiring as Director of Parks & Recreation in 1987. He was instrumental in the redevelopment of the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, the development of the Saginaw Rose Garden (now the Andersen Enrichment Center & Memorial Rose Garden) and in the organization of the Saginaw Can-Am Games. 

Tom enjoyed countless fishing trips with his daughter in Michigan and around the country. Tom had a love of golf, though he had a love-hate relationship with his pitching wedge. He enjoyed national and international travel with his wife, and the many car trips they took to Arizona. Sun City West was home for the cold winter months (for Gaylord, that was at least 6 months of the year). Sun City West provided Tom and Elsie over 20 years of enjoyment with close friends in the community.

Tom is survived by his wife, Elsie, his daughter Mary Ursul (Daniel) and grandchildren Spencer Ursul (Jourdan) of Grand Rapids and Mallory Ursul of Boston, Massachusetts. Tom had the privilege of sharing a close relationship with Elsie’s children and grandchildren, Jane (Lee) Stage (child Libby), Gail Skerrett (children Robbie, Kim, Amy, and Michael), Jill Smith (husband Andy, children Alex, Travis, and Koa), David Schrader (wife Tina, children Maddie and Adam) and Rob Schrader (wife Cyndi, children Lilly and Philip), as well as a number of great-grandchildren. Tom was preceded in death by his three brothers, John (Pat), James and Joseph Cawley.

Honoring Tom’s wishes, cremation has taken place.  There will be a Celebration of Life scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation in his memory to Hospice of Michigan or a charity of your choice.

Please share your memories and personal messages with Tom’s family at www.gaylordfuneralhome.com/obituaries/thomas-cawley

To order memorial trees in memory of Thomas Cawley, please visit our tree store.

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