Share This Obituary


Thomas Patrick Trepky of Williamstown Township passed away Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at age 64, after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He died at home with his family by his side.

Tom was born on May 3, 1953, to Joseph and Joan Trepky in Jackson, Michigan. He attended Vandercook Lake High School in Jackson and Michigan State University, where he met his wife, Marchell (Rogowski) Trepky, in January of 1974. For Tom, it was love at first sight, and he told his mother, Joan, he had found the girl he would marry; Marcy, then a practical college freshman, took a little more convincing. They married on August 14, 1976.

Tom worked in retail, for a time managing Recordland in the Lansing Mall, where he cultivated his love and expansive knowledge of music. He was later a rural carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, a job from which he retired in 1990, when he was diagnosed with Stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and given just a few days to live. Through the grace of God and immeasurable willpower, an aggressive medical treatment plan saved Tom's life.

Less than a year later, facing a relapse of the same cancer, Tom elected to undergo a stem cell transplant, at the time still an experimental procedure, which put his cancer in remission for good. Despite an unknowable amount of suffering, Tom said he was sustained by his sense of duty to Marcy and their young son, Christopher.

Known for his great sense of humor and indomitable spirit, Tom made the most of the years he gained. He considered each day another gift and always maintained a positive attitude. He was devoted to his family, his friends, and his community, volunteering on the Williamstown Township Parks and Recreation Committee and coaching youth softball as part of the Red Cedar Recreation Association.

Tom also served as a troop leader and merit badge counselor with the Boy Scouts of America. He did a lot of camping with the scouts and looked forward to helping organize their pancake breakfasts and other events. Many will remember Tom as an imposing, hooded figure lurking silently in a corner at the annual Boy Scout haunted house, a volunteer activity that brought him particular joy.

In 2000, Tom hiked a 12-day trek at Philmont, the Boy Scouts' ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico - a grueling but rewarding experience that allowed him to stand on mountaintops with Christopher and Marcy.

An avid fisherman who tied his own flies, Tom developed a passion for the great outdoors early. His father, Joe, taught him to fish when he was big enough to hold a pole. He took an annual fishing trip by himself to the western part of the Upper Peninsula, where he relished the time to wander the woods alone with his thoughts.

Tom also enjoyed fishing and camping along Lake Superior with his family and friends, cherishing in particular his annual fishing trip with Marcy and their special friends Tom and Paulette Johnson and the many great times they shared. And he loved collecting rocks, as well as giving them away. If you knew Tom, chances are you own a good-looking agate.

Tom taught himself to cook, tinkering to make recipes his own. Ask him for one of those recipes and you might have gotten it - but he most likely left out an ingredient or two. His homemade salami was a highlight of the holidays for friends and loved ones.

Surrounded by his family, Tom loved to tell stories, his mischievous laugh coming easy and often. He also wanted to capture those moments: He was rarely without his camera, leaving behind a trove of vivid, beautiful photos of waterfalls, sunsets, and smiling relatives together for Christmas and Thanksgiving - the people and places he loved.

Tom was preceded in death by his father, Joe, and sister, Kathleen Ann Trepky Humphrey. He is survived by his wife, Marcy; son, Christopher (Emmarie Huetteman) of Arlington, Virginia; mother, Joan of Corpus Christi, Texas; brother, Michael Trepky of Worden, Montana; and many beloved in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Tom's family extends their heartfelt thanks to Sparrow Home Hospice for their compassionate and gentle care of Tom, especially Michael Crosby and Casey Cronkright. The family is especially appreciative of Tom's special friend and oncologist, Dr. Elizabeth Layhe of McLaren Medical Oncology Associates in Lansing. It was her treatment in 1990 that allowed Tom to have another 27 years with his family and friends. We are ever grateful.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to the American Cancer Society.