Thomas J. Ranta

December 24, 1950 - September 12, 2020

Thomas J. Ranta passed away September 12, 2020 at the age of 69.

He was the loving husband of Judith (Judy) for 45 years; devoted father of Holly Marie; cherished brother of Richard (Wendy) and the late Lorrie (Gary) Bessinger and brother-in-law of Daniel (Sharon) Theriault, James (Marie) Theriault, Kathy (Stephen) Ladouceur, Joseph (Stacy) Theriault, Margie (late David) Nelson, Jeanne (late Thomas) Gentile, Patrick (Margaret) Theriault, Timothy (Marian) Theriault, Mary Ann (William) Theriault, Kelly (Richard) Deneau, Thomas (Jennifer) Theriault, and Joan (Raymond) Chartier; dear son of the late Thomas and late Dorothy and son-in-law of Henriette (late Joseph) Theriault. Tom also leaves many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and friends.

Thomas James was born in Highland Park, Michigan on December 24, 1950 to Thomas and Dorothy Ranta. He participated on the swimming & diving team at Henry Ford High School and following graduation, began a career with General Motors, Detroit Diesel-Allison. Tom was drafted into the United States Army in which he served during the Vietnam War. His experiences profoundly affected him, reminding him to live his life to the fullest.

Following his discharge, Tom returned to employment with Detroit Diesel where in June of 1973, he met Judy. The two quickly fell in love and were married on December 1, 1974. Tom continued to work for General Motors in many capacities, retiring from the Romulus Engine plant in December of 2005. He was a member of the UAW Local 163. 

Tom was a private pilot and airplane owner and operator. He was an aviation enthusiast stemming from building tiny model planes as a youngster. He was a member of the Plymouth Flying Pilgrims, acting as President for over 5 years. Tom was also a craftsman of quarter scale planes, building and flying his models. He was a Christian man and an active parishioner at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Tom had a great sense of humor and enjoyed frequent restaurant lunches with his flying buddies. He was an avid duck hunter and golfer, most recently a member of the Ann Arbor Veterans League. Tom loved his cottage up north in Prescott, Michigan; welcoming friends, neighbors, and guests to savor the peacefulness and enjoy fun with water sports.

Being a father was Tom’s greatest honor. He was kindhearted and generous, a true family man. Tom volunteered with the Special Olympics Plymouth Canton Stars and often took his family to Disney, along with nieces, nephews, and Holly’s friends. He was thoughtful and considerate beyond compare, always willing to help, expecting nothing in return. Tom’s loving influence will be deeply missed.

A private Funeral Mass for Tom will be held at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. He will be laid to rest at Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly, MI.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to the Special Olympics of Michigan Plymouth Canton Stars c/o Sue Campbell 363 Pinehurst, Canton, MI 48188; St. Jude Children’s Hospital; or the Plymouth Flying Pilgrims c/o Bill Slabey 48720 Hanford, Canton, MI 48187 in Tom’s name.

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  • Farmington Hills Chapel 31950 West Twelve Mile Rd Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 553-0120

  • Canton Chapel 851 North Canton Center Rd Canton, MI 48187 (734) 981-4530