Warren Thomas's Story
Warren Thomas "Tom" Stege passed away on June 15, at home, with his wife by his side.
He was born July 18, 1925 in Menominee, to the late George W. Stege and Lillian E. (Jondro) Stege. He grew up in Dallas, Texas, returning to Manistee in 1933 when his father lost his job in the Great Depression. He attended Woodrow Wilson School and was graduated from Manistee High School with the class of 1942. That fall he enrolled in the chemical engineering course at Michigan State College only to leave the next year to join the U.S. Navy. He was a "Plank Owner" (original crew member) on the USS Kleinsmith APD-134. He was discharged in 1946 as an Electronics Technician First Class. He later was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve, retiring as Lieutenant Commander in 1970.
After his service in World War II he returned to Michigan State College, where he changed to the electrical engineering course and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1949.
On Sept. 17, 1949, he married the love of his life, Evelyn Miklas, at Guardian Angels Church.
Tom worked for American Box Board (later Packaging Corporation of America) from 1949-1966. From 1966-1968, he was Michigan manager for Seither & Cherry Company, Mechanical Contractors out of Koekuk, Iowa.
In 1968, he formed his own company, W.T. Stege Company, Electrical & Mechanical Contractors, to serve the need for industrial construction services in the Manistee area. He continued to run the company until its closing and his retirement in 2004.
He also served as Manistee City Engineer from 1973 to 1991.
He was extremely active in the Manistee community in many different capacities. He was a past president of the Manistee Civic Players, acting in many plays from the 1930s on, a director and past president of the Industrial Development Corporation, past chairman and member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, board member and past president of the Ramsdell Theatre Restoration Project and board member and past president of the Manistee County Historical Museum.
Tom enjoyed golfing, joining the Manistee Golf and Country Club in 1946, and later serving as president. He also joined the Manistee Elks Lodge #250 in 1946, and was the longest serving member with 71 years.
Known to all far and wide as a true Michigan State Spartan fan, he held football season tickets since 1949 and was proud to have seen 60 consecutive Michigan State-Michigan football games.
He was especially proud of three endeavors in the community; the first was working with members of the Congregational Church to have it placed on the Nation Register of Historical Places, beginning the process of saving the church from deterioration and making it once again into a vibrant place for its congregates and the community at large.
The second was getting the Ramsdell Theatre listed on the National Register of Historical Places and, as president of the Ramsdell Theatre Restoration project, overseeing the restoration of that gem. And third, working to remove all the overhead power lines and poles on River Street, and the installation of the underground feed for the street lights. This allowed the Christmas trees to be pulled down River Street with no impediments during the Christmas parade.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Cynthia Stege; sister-in-law, Eileen Miklas; and three nephews, Vin, Shawn and Mark Miklas.
He is survived by his wife of almost 68 years, Evelyn; a daughter, Katherine (John) Lutchko, of Harrellsville, North Carolina; and sons, Charles Stege, of Brethren, Thomas (Renate) Stege, of Manistee and George (Amy) Stege, of Villa Park, Illinois; grandchildren, Aaron (Chelsea Neddo) Hoxie, of Traverse City, Aisha (Scott) Crellin, of Traverse City, Sarah Hoxie, of Traverse City, Stuart Love, of Jackson, Ryan Love, of Jackson, and Jason (Karla Richardson) Stege, of Pasadena, Maryland; great-grandchildren, Elijah Hoxie, Sophia, Collin and Ian Crellin, and Kyle, Kaylee and Kennedy Stege; and special daughter-in-law, Beth Pieczynski. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Mass of the Order of Christian Funerals will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 23, at Guardian Angels Church, with the Rev. Father Richard Schaeffer officiating, with interment and military services to follow at Oak Grove Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the Oak Grove Funeral Home and Cremation Center on Thursday, June 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. with the Evening Vigil Service at 7:30 p.m.
Those wishing to remember Tom are asked to make a donation to the Manistee County Historical Museum in his memory, a cause very dear to his heart.
To share a photo or memory with the family, please visit Tom's personal page at www.oakgrovefh.com.
The family has entrusted the Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center with funeral arrangements.
Published on June 20, 2017