MARQUETTE, MI - Thomas Francis Williscroft, age 89 of 215 N. Lakeshore Blvd, Marquette, entered eternal Life Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at his home in the loving care of his wife, Dawn, and two of their daughters, Shelley and Star, the support of Pastor Steve Hulke, The Upper Peninsula Home Health and Hospice, and prayers of faithful family and friends.
Tom was born in 1923, in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leictershire, England, son of Harry and Elizabeth (Dent) Williscroft. Raised and educated in England, Tom received his graduate engineering degree from The University of London, during which time he also served in The Royal British AirForce during World War II. Tom moved to Canada in 1947, where he taught at the University of Toronto in the Engineering Deptment until l949, when He was offered a position with Kimberly Clark Corporation at their Terrace Bay Paper facility, remaining there for nine years. In 1957 Tom was lured to the U.S. as K.C. expanded its Silacaga AL paper mill and his engineering skills were ordered. Just one year later, Munising, Michigan's K.C location was his destination, and it was in Munising, in 1964, that Bob and Dorothy Nebel introduced Tom to Grand Marais native, Dawn Ostrander. They were married that year, Dawn taught English at Mather High School and they shared the enjoyment of many good friends and three years on Superior's shores. Happily, their future would allow them 49 years together as Tom's paper-making career advanced. In 1967 Menasha Corporation invited Tom to join their West Coast paper mill division on Oregon's southern coast in North Bend. He became Mill Manager in late 1968, and when the mill was sold to Weyerhaueser in l981, he maintained managership and was named a division vice-president.
Life in the sister cities of Coos Bay-North Bend was busy and rewarding for Tom. A quiet, gentle man with a great deal of energy, he gave time, wit and will to every endeavor during his 38 years there; his interests and activities included involvement in Rotary and Rotary's International Student Exchange Program, serving on budget committies for the City of Coos Bay, City Library, and High School, and serving on United Way and Salvation Army Boards. Closest to his heart always, was his family, which by 1968 included daughter, Shelley Katherine, and in time, grew to include three Navajo daughters: Alice and Lorissa and Starlite. With Dawn he shared an open-door attitude and over an 18 year period accepted referrals from church and community to provide safe haven for many. Tom also joined efforts with a fellow papermaker to sucessfully fund and nurture a foundation designed to help the developmentally disabled with training, transitional housing and jobs. Called The Star of H ope, it continues to serve it's clients well.
Thomas Francis Williscroft
Since 1998, Tom has fought advancing Parkinson's Disease with, in his words, "prayerful perserverance." He and Dawn returned to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to be near Dawn's sister. New and old friends have been immeasurably generous with loving support and encouragement, and they are very grateful.
Tom is survived by his wife Dawn, who resides in Marquette, daughter Shelley (Stephen) Stuart, of London, England, daughters Alice (Norbert) Tsosie of Blanding, Utah and Lorissa Jackson of Monument Valley, Utah. Daughter Starlite, who after returning from active duty in Afghanistan and Fort Drum, has continued to help with her father's care at their home in Marquette.
Survivors also include Tom's sister Margaret Pass who resides in Packington, Leicester- shire, England. He was preceded in death by his parents of Ashby-de- la-Zouch and a brother Richard, of Cricklade, Wiltshire.
Friends may visit the Fassbender Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. until 6 p.m. Services will be held at 6:00 p.m. with Rev. Steve Hulke officiating. Memorials may be directed to Redeemer Church Educational Fund at 1700 West Fair Ave., Marquette, MI 49855. Condolences may be expressed online at www.fassbenderfuneralhome.com.