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Sylvester M. Tomaszewski

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Sylvester M. Tomaszewski, age 86, of Gaylord, Michigan, died on May 4, 2021, after a 10-year battle with multiple myeloma, which finally overwhelmed his tired body. His family and friends will miss his infectious smile and gentle spirit.

Syl was born at the family farm on the north side of Gaylord on October 18, 1934, to Stanley and Sophia (Kujawa) Tomaszewski. He had fond memories of growing up as the youngest of five children and working alongside his family on the farm. He graduated from St. Mary High School in 1952, where he played basketball. Shortly after high school, he left home and worked his way through Michigan State University, graduating in 1956 with a degree in business administration.

During his senior year at MSU, Syl met his wife, Maria, on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. After college, he fulfilled his military obligation in the U.S. Army, serving as military police. After training, he was stationed at Sandia Base, New Mexico. Upon discharge in the summer of 1958, Syl and Maria were married at St. Therese Catholic Church in Lansing, on September 6, 1958, and remained as parishioners until their retirement in 1994.

His working career with the State of Michigan began in October of 1958, with the Department of Agriculture. After a couple of transfers to other departments, he returned to the Department of Agriculture and retired as Director of Finance in October of 1994. At this time, Syl, along with Maria, returned to Gaylord to enjoy their retirement years.

Retirement returned him to the town, church, and community he loved. As a member of St. Mary Cathedral parish, he was an usher and served on the Finance Council.  He became a member of the Gaylord Council of Knights of Columbus, where he served as Grand Knight, Financial Secretary, and Fourth Degree Faithful Navigator.

Their move also provided Syl the opportunity to spend time outdoors on the family farm, working, hunting, and being a caretaker of the woods. This was so appropriate since the name Sylvester means “of the woods”. He passed this love of the outdoors to his children. Other activities he enjoyed included spending time with family and friends, traveling to over thirty countries, square dancing, playing cards, making sausage with the Knights, and walking at the Sportsplex.

The family wishes to thank the Aspen Ridge and Hospice of Michigan staff for the care, friendship, support, and compassion they provided Syl during his brief time with them.

Syl is survived by Maria, his wife of 62 years; his children, Joann (Wayne) Barry, Michael (Barbara) Tomaszewski, and Susan (Gary) Curtis; six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren with one on the way; his sister, Mary Dykhouse; his brother-in-law, Gilbert (Suzanne) DeVlieger; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Raymond and John; and sister, Regina.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary Cathedral on Saturday, May 8, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. and a Knights of Columbus Rosary being offered at 10:30 a.m.

Donations in Syl’s memory may be made to Hospice of Michigan, St. Mary Cathedral Schools, or the International Myeloma Foundation through the Nelson Funeral Home.

Arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

44 comments on “Sylvester M. Tomaszewski”

  1. Bill and Mary Ann

    Maria and Family, there are no words to say how sorry we are for the loss of Syl, he was a dear friend to many and will never be forgotton. No more pain and suffering and now in conversation with our Lord. God Bless.

    • We are so sorry to hear of Syl’s passing. Know that our prayers and love are with you. I will miss seeing you at the Sportsplex walking while I try to drown myself. God’s blessing. I am out of town and am sorry that I will be not able to attend.

      • Tamara J. Franks

        Marie and family, Tom was such a blessing to so many people. He was a great person to work for as well. I will never forget the day he made me leave my lunch in the microwave while it was cooking, he was sure it would harm the babies I was carrying. It was the only time I ever saw him get a bit frustrated with me. Hugs and prayers to you all!

        • Azer gerard De Vliegher

          Maria and family, my condolences on the death of Syl. We, Griet and Azer, Peter and Annick and the children, Heidi and the children Sofie and the children, will never forget Syl and we will always carry in our hearts the beautiful memories of your visits to Belgium. We considered you brother and sister.

          • Margaret (Rossow) Webb

            My heartfelt condolences to your family. Tom was a super human being and a thoughtful and caring boss. My time at Ag was memorable. He loved his family dearly. He will be missed. My prayers with you and your family.

            • Rodger and Debbie Brown

              Mary and family, we are so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He is at peace now. God blessed us all with a wonderful caring person. He was a great boss at the Department of Agriculture. Condolences to all of you.

              Rodger and Debbie Brown

              • Sad to hear of Uncle Syl passing. Enjoyed his evening chats in the farmhouse parlor with Uncle John. Uncle Syl was a straight shooter. A mentor and model for us young men. His character and personality will be missed by many that had the pleasure to meet and know him as friend and family.

                • Patrick & Anny Braekevelt-Devliegher

                  Condolences on the loss of Syl. We only have good memories of Syl when you visited us. Strength to the whole family in this difficult time.

                  • Anny Devliegher- Patrick Braekevelt

                    Condolences on the loss of Syl. We only have good memories of Syl when you visited us.
                    Strength to the whole family in this difficult time.

                    • Richard Becky Shavinski

                      Mary and Family, Sorry to hear of Syl’s passing. Our prayers will be with you in this present moment. Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen. Dick Becky Shavinski CSA

                      • Mary, I was so sorry to hear of Syl’s passing. Take comfort in knowing there is no more pain or struggle for him. I’m sure Marv was there to greet him, grab his coffee cup and fill it up. They might not be at the sportsplex table but rest assured they are deep in conversation. If you need anything, please call. Many prayers for your family. Mary Evans

                        • Bev & Jim Wattson

                          Maria and family,
                          So sorry to hear about Syl. He was always such a gentleman all his life. I first met him in the eighth grade when my family moved to Gaylord. It is very hard for friends and family as he was always so special, but God thought so too and wanted him in Heaven. His pain is gone and he is now with God looking down on us and keeping us safe in this troubled world we are living in. God Bless.

                          • Doug & Connie Squires

                            Mary, so sorry for the loss of Syl. He was such a nice man and always had a smile to share. He fought the good fight, so may he now rest in peace. Will be thinking of you on Saturday and praying for the family.

                            • Like so many in Gaylord and throughout the state of Michigan, I had the pleasure of calling Syl a friend. May he rest in peace.

                              • Aara Sue Willison

                                Mary, I am so sorry for the loss of your hubby. I really didn’t know him but he always seemed so pleasant when he shared lunch with you and all of us card players. You have many adventurous memories. When the person you were the closest to is gone hold onto their memories and know they are always with you. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
                                Aara Sue

                                • Duane and Jan Hoffman

                                  We will miss his warm smile and great personality. He was always ready to lend a hand or offer advice. You are missed already!!!

                                  • Mary and family, we are so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Syl, he was such a kind man and we loved listening to his stories of his growing up years. So glad that he is no longer in pain and now resting in the arms of his Lord. Prayers to you and your family.
                                    God bless,
                                    Craig & Berni Seidell

                                    • Uncle Syl was a kind man with a great sense of humor, and I’m sure going to miss his smile, his laughter, and his stories. I feel blessed that he was part of my life. Give my Mom a big hug from me up in heaven, OK?

                                      • Teresa Krupiarz Hill and family

                                        Uncle Syl will be missed so much. He always had great stories to tell in his booming Tomaszewski voice which was inherited by many people I know! Praying for Aunt Mary, Joann, Mike, Susie and all the family during this heartbreaking time. I know my mom was there to welcome him. Thank goodness he is no longer suffering.

                                        • Susie and Gary, l was sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. He was of the same generation as our dad and reminded me a lot of him. I know that you will miss him, but the memories will always be there. Your Brother-in-law and Brother Bill and Wally

                                          • Georg and Judy Magsig

                                            Mary and Susie and the rest of the family, we are so sorry to hear of the passing of Syl. We will miss him. We are happy for him since he is now with our Lord and is no longer in pain. We have many happy memories of him at the Sportsplex. We have missed him for a couple of years now. His name comes up frequently as one of those we miss. I am sure we will all meet up again in Heaven.

                                            • Wayne and Jan Pelmear

                                              We are saddened by the loss of Syl. He will always be remembered as a wonderful friend.

                                              • Mary and family, I cannot express my sorrow for your loss. Tom was such a special person! I wonder if he ever knew how much he influenced my life. He was a mentor and wonderful example of a good human being as well as a boss. God bless you all.

                                                • Carla and Bill McCarrick

                                                  I’m so sorry to hear about Tom’s death. He was a great man and I loved working for him. We enjoyed having dinner with the group and seeing you guys when you came down to Lansing. May your many happy memories help to bring you peace and comfort.

                                                  • Sally R Holley

                                                    Mary, We are so sorry to hear of Syl passing. He was such a kind and wonderful person and will always be remembered for his infectious smile and sense of humor. God bless you and your family. Bob and Sally Holley

                                                    • Michael Burzynski

                                                      Mary and family, Syl was a real steward of his faith, family, and land. We thank him for the letters he sent to many young children in a pen pal program at St.Mary’s school. Our children really enjoyed it.

                                                      • Chester and Jenni Krupiarz

                                                        Aunt Mary and family, so sorry to hear of Uncle Syl’s passing. although we didn’t spend a lot of time together when we did he was always a warm and kind hearted person. May you all find peace and strength during this difficult time.

                                                        • marie a buxton

                                                          Tom was always a great boss and friend to us. There were times, when we would get a ‘mite too loud’ and Tom would just tell us to ‘pipe down’ and get back to work..(and we did!). He was easy going, but firm!
                                                          There were so many more memories shared when he and Mary would drive down, over dinner, with a group of us (from the dept.of Agriculture and others.)
                                                          He will be missed. Our prayers to Mary and his family.
                                                          Ken/Marie Werbish Buxton

                                                          • Marie-Joseph Devliegher

                                                            Dear Maria and family, so hard to hear that Syl has passed away.

                                                            I met Syl a few times. You were a beautiful couple together and I only have good memories. Dear niece, we have always lived so far away but in these sad moments distance is nothing. I support you.

                                                            I hope you will find the courage and strength to get through this difficult period.

                                                            • Netty Gardner

                                                              Oh I’m so sorry to hear of Syl’s passing. What a nice man he was. I loved it when I worked at Bjs and the Knights would come in on Sunday morning. I always made my way to him for a hug and kiss. May he rest, pain free, now and may you, Maria, find peace knowing he is in a better place.

                                                              • Jane and Greg

                                                                I can imagine when God greeted Uncle Syl in heaven he said, “congratulations on a life well-lived”. We say to God, thank you for giving us such a wonderful Uncle, for his shining smile, funny comments and sense of humor, kindness, and generosity to my parents, and strong integrity. Thank you for a man who demonstrated clear love and devotion to his family and country. We will miss you deeply, Uncle Syl, and will value our memories of you which are treasures. Go Spartans!!
                                                                P.S. and thank you for the squirrel from the Farm, it is cherished!

                                                                • Uncle Syl was a kind man and I have very fond memories of the family get togethers with the Tomaszewskis in Lansing. He will be missed. Love to Aunt Mary, Joann, Mike and Susie.

                                                                  • Marianne and Ed Gay

                                                                    So sorry for your loss, Aunt Mary and cousins.
                                                                    Uncle Syl was a great conversationalist and so easy to talk to. I have always loved his sense of humor and his smile.
                                                                    Our condolences to your family. He will be forever in our hearts.

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                                                                  • John Kucharek

                                                                    Maria, We are so sorry for your loss.
                                                                    I’ll never forget the memories Sylvester and I had at St.Mary’s, wonderful memories of our reunions. Sylvester you will be missed.
                                                                    Until we meet again, John and Chantal Kucharek

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                                                                  • Sonia De Ruyck

                                                                    Dear Maria, Condolences on the loss of Syl. We had a great time wen we came to visit you and Syl. Great memories of both of you. Hugs and prayers to you all from our family. Sonia en Christian from Belgium

                                                                    • Elissa (and Dave) Greenburg

                                                                      As a member of St. Therese – and a former teacher of both Mike and Susan, I’ve often thought of the Tomaszewskis. We missed them at the parish but knew they were ready to “fly the coop” after retirement. My brother passed November 2nd, also after a ten-year battle with MM. He, too, served in the Army after his college ROTC. It is an extremely difficult cancer and I can relate to both what Syl suffered, as well as those who loved and surrounded him. His many smiles, his dedication to service in his faith and his stewardship of the good earth, serve as a model for all. Our prayers and sincere condolences.

                                                                      • Marie, Karen and I express our deepest sympathy in the passing of Syl. He was a special person and we all will miss him greatly. Our prayers go out to you at this time. Warmest regards, Karen and Jim Neubecker

                                                                        • Mary,
                                                                          I am so sorry here about Syl.
                                                                          May God comfort you and the family. He will be missed.
                                                                          Prayers,Linda J

                                                                          • Jo Ann Slabonek

                                                                            Dear Mary, I’m so sorry to read of Sly’s death in the Lansing St. Journal. Although I did not know him personally, by reading all the above comments he had to have been a great man and will be missed by all that loved him. You and your family are in my prayers during these difficult days. A friend from Resurrection HS and Clinton Village #3. God Bless. Jo Ann Slabonek

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