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Thomas Tamandl

Thomas “Tom” Tamandl

August 16th, 1945 - July 28th, 2022

Tom's Obituary

Thomas Norbert Tamandl of South Haven, MI left us unexpectedly on July 28, 2022, at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, as a result of a one-car accident. Tom was born in Chicago, IL on August 16, 1945 to Elizabeth (Hillman) and Norbert Tamandl. The family moved to South Haven, MI, in 1954 when his father’s company, Acme Protection, relocated from Chicago.

Tom thrived in South Haven’s small lakeshore community. He loved baseball, football, and later Ultimate Frisbee. He was a South Haven High School graduate, Class of 1963. He was valedictorian of his class, a member of the varsity baseball and football teams, as well as recipient of the Critic Cup that year for outstanding citizenship and scholarship. He continued his education at Michigan State University where he joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, making many lifelong friends and earned a BA in Spanish Language and Literature. He completed his MA in Spanish Language and Literature at the University of Wisconsin. (He was a bit conflicted when MSU played Wisconsin, but the Spartans always won his loyalty.)

He began his professional career teaching Spanish at MSU’s Justin Morrill College, an interdisciplinary residential college. He moved to Colorado and taught at the Abbey School in Cañon City. He returned to South Haven to work with Jack and Doris Jensen’s international trade company. Following this, Tom moved into the workforce development field with Michigan Human Resource Development Inc. working in Benton Harbor, Adrian, and Kalamazoo. He was past president of the Twin Cities Area Literacy Council and past president and 36+ year member of the Kiwanis Club of South Haven. His last venture was starting the Breedsville Provision Center in 2017. This was a medical marijuana dispensary which expanded into recreational marijuana products when they were legalized. He had recently sold this company.

Tom was a compassionate and caring person. He had friends from all walks of life. When he had a conversation, he really listened and often shared some of his indomitable optimism.

He is survived by his son Joel T. (Jamie-Jo) Tamandl, grandson Tony Nava, sisters Patricia T. Niffenegger and Kathryn T. Dilts, former wife Theresa Heck, partner Jean Long Harden. He also leaves behind nieces Audrey (Eddie Campbell) Niffenegger, Beth Niffenegger, Jonelle Niffenegger, Jill (Tony Marr) Fogerty, and Kelley McCloughan, numerous cousins, aunt Julie Krystek, and many friends. Tom was predeceased by his parents, brothers-in-law Larry Niffenegger and David Dilts, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022 at 1 p.m. at Filbrandt Chapel. A funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. with Tom’s cousin Michael LaRue officiating. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution may do so at For the Sake of Being Humane, 6577 124th Ave., Fennville, MI 49408 or ACLU, 125 Broad St., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004. To view Tom’s personal web page please visit starksfamilyfh.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Filbrandt Chapel of Starks Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, 269-637-0333.

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