Tommy (Tom) Dean Compton, age 75 of Livonia, Michigan, passed away on October 30, 2023 after a brave 3-year battle with colon cancer.
Tom was born in Detroit on July 15, 1948 to Elgin and June (née Dean) Compton. He is survived by his beloved wife of 48 years, Rosa (née Pietrandrea). He was a loving father to Sabrina (Thomas) Bently and Carla (Christopher) Longerbeam, and wonderful Grandpa to 7 grandchildren: Julia, Dominic, Liliana, Grant, Evelyn, Sarah, and Christopher James (CJ). He was a dear brother to Dale (Jan), Jeff, and Garth (Debbie), and uncle to nieces Joanna (Greg) Mys, Angela and Sandra Lloyd, and to great nephew Jude Mys. He also served as the best host Grandpa to three exchange students, Linda Mayerhofer of Austria, Sofia Mittler of Italy, and Mar Dorta Garcia of Spain. He is also survived by many beloved cousins.
Tom attended Thomas Alva Edison Elementary and Middle School in Dearborn and graduated from Edsel Ford High School, class of 1966. Tom was very involved with the alumni group at Edsel Ford and remained close with many of his childhood friends. He would share fond memories of his youth including his time with the Boy Scouts, working on his many cars as a teen and young adult, and his summers visiting his Grandma Lilly Dean in Wolverine, Michigan.
After high school he started work at Montgomery Ward Department Store in Dearborn where he met one of his best friends, roommate, and ultimately the best man in his wedding, Alvin (Lynn) Jankowiak. He then took a job working for Modern Electric in Livonia and would often get lunch at Trevi’s Pizzeria, Rosa’s parent’s restaurant, where he and Rosa first met. In 1986 he became the lighting and power specialist at Caniff Electric Supply in Hamtramck, remaining there until his retirement in 2012.
In January of 1975 he married Rosa. On Christmas Eve later that year, they moved to their home on Fitzgerald Street in Livonia. Tom would tell the story of building a fire on the ground with his father-in-law, Domenico, to thaw the ground and place their mailbox which ultimately ended up in a temporary bucket until spring. Tom and Rosa were very involved with the street happenings from planning block parties and neighborhood pub crawls to setting up the street tent for neighbors and hosting other spontaneous social events. He was the original author of the annual street newsletter up through this year.
Tom loved to spend time with his friends. He attended the annual Police Ox Roast every year, loved a good car show and spent many days enjoying Greenfield Village.
Tom loved to travel. He traveled all over the United States and most of western Europe. Every summer he and Rosa would spend a week at their beloved Evergreen Resort in Little Red Bay, Ontario, Canada with neighbors and lifelong friends. Recently he adored spending time on Harsens Island with his family and tracking the Great Lakes Freighters as they passed through the South Channel. He was an avid reader and writer. He was always the person people reached out to for book recommendations. Tom was also an excellent woodworker making award winning pinewood derby cars with his grandchildren, memorial crosses for St. Colette Church, and many other projects for family and friends.
Tom was known for his beautiful photography and storytelling, and his presence will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.
A service for Tom will be held, Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 10:00 AM at St. Colette Catholic Church, 17600 Newburgh Road, Livonia, Michigan 48152. Celebration of life immediately following.
A Little Free Library (charter #175730) has been donated in Tom’s honor to Trinity Health Hospital in Livonia for their Our Lady of Hope Cancer Center. We hope his love of reading will continue as a lasting legacy through this library.
Donations may be made in his honor of the excellent care he received to either Angela Hospice or to the Our Lady of Hope Cancer Center at Trinity Health Hospital.