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Posted on Mon, May 13, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

'He was Depot Town': Ypsilanti resident Tom Dodd remembered as community leader

By Katrease Stafford

Ypsilanti resident Tom Dodd played an integral part in restoring the historic Depot Town and did countless things within the community to propel it forward, but it was his magnetic personality that many will remember.

Dodd died from a heart attack Sunday at the age of 78.


Tom Dodd, pictured here in a file photo, was known by the Ypsilanti community as a leader and an individual who cared about the city. file photo

"He was Depot Town," said Linda French, Sidetrack Bar and Grill owner and Depot Town Merchants president. "He was instrumental and it would not be what is today if it weren't for him. He was quite the character. He was like a magnet. Everyone would come up to his table. There wasn't a person who didn't like him."

Dodd was a teacher for more than 50 years and founded the Depot Town Rag.

Dodd also served as president of the Depot Town Association and many say he led the restoration of the historic neighborhood. Dodd also served on the Ypsilanti City Council and as Mayor Pro Tem. Dodd also served on the Washtenaw County Historic District Commission and the Riverside Arts Center board.

"He was the one who lobbied the city to shine a light onto Depot Town for the restoration," French said. "Depot Town was once looked down upon. ... He was the glue that kept the Depot Town merchants together. He was a good man."

"He wrote humorous stories and people came from all over just to pick it up," French said, referring to the Depot Town Rag.

In addition to the Depot Town Rag, Kathryn Howard, chair of the Ypsilanti Historical Society, said Dodd did key work for the society. Dodd wrote several stories and features for the Ypsilanti Gleanings, the official publication of the society, and at one point he was responsible for the publication.

"Tom and I have been friends since I can remember," Howard said. "It breaks me up. I worked with him closely there. He was very good in publications and he just knew how to put things together. He could always put it in an interesting way even if the topic was dry."

Howard said she knew Dodd for more than 30 years.

"We were very close," Howard said. "He was fantastic. It's hard to describe Tom because he was just an all around great person. There's only one Tom Dodd and he was a very dear, dear friend of mine."

Howard said he will be greatly missed at the society.

"I don't know anyone around that doesn't know Tom Dodd," Howard said. "It's just something about him. He was a very caring friend."

Heide Otto-Basinger, an Ypsilanti Depot Town resident, has been a close friend of Dodd's family since she was 8 years old. She attended elementary school with Dodd's son, Gregory. Otto-Basinger remembers when Dodd was a teacher and how dedicated he was to his craft.

"He was the kind of teacher that was everyone's favorite," Otto-Basinger said. "He was always outspoken and could give you his opinion without insulting you... It's shocking. I just had breakfast with him Saturday morning."

Otto-Basinger recalled when he dressed up as Susan B. Anthony for a special day at school.

"He was a lot of fun," she said. "He was always happy to see you."

Otto-Basinger said later on in his career, he worked at Ann Arbor's Community High School, where he retired from the arts department. While there, Dodd wrote several things, including a musical that the students performed. Dodd contributed to iSPY Magazine and taught journalism classes at Washtenaw Community College.

Dodd also wrote and co-authored books with local historian James Mann, including "Our Heritage: Down by the Depot in Ypsilanti."

Aside from all of the work Dodd did in the community, Otto-Basinger said he was a loving family man, who enjoyed spending time with his wife, Bettie, and his son, Gregory.

"They were childhood sweethearts," Otto-Basinger said. "He was always a joy to have around. He always had a way of making you feel good. He'll be missed by a lot of people. He was just a wonderful person."

Nathalie Edmunds, one of the founders of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival, worked closely with Dodd over the years. She said he helped start the festival in 1979.

"This is something that has disturbed us all very much," Edmunds said. "I've worked with him personally since at least 1970 or before that and he's been a great friend. He has been a great, great community leader."

Edmunds said Dodd continued to be involved with the festival, even up to this year.

"He worked on so many things that it's hard to keep up with them," Edmunds said. "And it wasn't just a partial involvement, it was a total commitment. Everything Tom did turned out to be so successful."

Although he was 78, French recalls Dodd had a youthful spirit.

"It’s a loss for the whole community, not just Depot Town," French said.

Dodd is survived by his wife, Bettie Dodd, and his son, Gregory Dodd.

A celebration of Dodd's life will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 at Frenchie's in Depot Town at 54 E. Cross St. According to Dodd's son, speeches in remembrance of his father will begin at 3 p.m.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.


jon a

Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

I first met Tom in 1983 while attending community high school, he became my favorite teacher and I took as many classes from him as I could. I recently ran into him again a few years back while getting a haircut in Depot town, it was amazing to see him again and have the chance to sit down and talk to him which we did many times over the next years. I will miss him dearly and regret that I never got to say goodbye.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 9:53 a.m.

I was a student, in fact he was a teacher of a lot of different subjects. No one went threw there and didn't get at least one class he taught. If they did they missed out on his incredible character, and easiness he made all his classes. Though they were hard, he some how made it so easy. Till this day, I use rules he gave me to use for writing. My favorite class was American Humor, lol, it was funny, and easy, but it was an English credit, and all we had to do is write any joke on paper and read it out loud in class. He graded the paper on proper English, and it's humor, if he didn't laugh at it then it didn't get an A grade for the day. Everyone got an A at the end, but I learned important writing techniques some how that still work for me. Good Bye Mr. Dodd, RIP, he was a great man.

Gale Golloway Drake

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Mr. Dodd was my favorite teacher at Roosevelt High School. He was probably the best teacher I ever had. He could have taught anything. I already had a love of Art, but his art class was SO much fun. He was so young and funny, actually he was almost as young as we were! He was almost "Geeky"- slim, glasses, short dark hair and stuttered a bit. Only 16 years separated us in age. He would make fun of himself. He made ... us laugh all the time and made every student feel like they were his favorite. I remember everybody wanting to be in his class. We didn't realize we were learning, we just thought we were having a blast! I had him for 4 years and was in the last lass to graduate before they closed Roosevelt in 1969. I have always cherished those years. We didn't need cops on campus, we had a school nurse, we had grades 1-12 in one building so we were all close and like a family. Unheard of now. Our paths went in different directions then and I left Ypsi behind me, but I have never forgotten him- he held a very special place in my heart as do all my teachers and classmates from Roosevelt. In reading all the comments, I find he has left a magnificent legacy behind him full of memories we can hold and his wonderful historical work with Depot Town. He has touched many lives after my experiences at Roosevelt. I am sure the seeds he planted will grow in the community for years to come. I always hoped my children would have at least one teacher like him to remember in their lives. Happily, they did, but sadly, teachers like Mr. Dodd are as rare as the rarest most precious diamonds. The world is a different place now, we cope by holding on to our memories and mine of those days and of him will be with me to my very last day on this earth. A life well lived and long remembered. Gale Golloway Drake

Rick T

Wed, May 15, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

I wasn't lucky enough to have him for a teacher, but met him many years ago when our store opened in Depot Town. A funny, wonderful man, who will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Thinkin' it Over

Wed, May 15, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

I am so sorry to learn of Tom's passing. He was one of my very favorite teachers, and has been an inspiration to me throughout my own teaching career. I still remember his jokes from high school and cannot think of him without smiling. He was truly a lovely man. I took his "Creative Thinking" class at Pioneer both semesters of my senior year, right along with Humanities and AP classes. I loved the class and he helped me through some tough times. He was a good listener and could always make me laugh and see the bright side of things. He was a very special guy and I feel so fortunate to have known him. He will be long remembered for many reasons, and because he provided thousands of Ann Arbor families with the amazing gift of Community High School. My thoughts are with his family, and I look forward to the celebration of his life on June 9. I would have loved to see you again, Tom. Peace.

Michael Bodary

Wed, May 15, 2013 : 12:44 a.m.

Tom, my art teacher (he was very challenged trying to teach me) in 1967-8. was a wonderful man. Had the privilege to spend some time recently with him recently and still loved his humor.

Eric Dodd

Tue, May 14, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Uncle Tom was my uncle. I've been reading the comments on here and am warmed to the core at all the love and respect for this truly special person. Uncle Tom was inspirational to me in many ways. As an artist he; in his way, showed me it was necessary to be myself and he challenged me ever so gently to be unique. He radiated confidence and good humor at all times and I always adored this about him. Through many years of my life (sadly, unbeknownst to him) I emulated him and his style and character. I felt if I could just be more like him my life would be better, more fulfilled. I know of no other person like Uncle tom and I believe I never will. He was simply and utterly wonderful. He will be missed beyond measure by all that have come into contact with him and we are all blessed to have known him. To Greg and Bettie, I love you and feel your loss deeply and I hope I can make it out to see you this June.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

I had Tom as a teacher for American Humor, History of Religion, and Journalism/Current Events...he was an amazing teacher and a wonderful, wonderful human being. Very sad to hear about his sudden passing.

Ben Petiprin

Tue, May 14, 2013 : 5:39 p.m.

I took journalism 101 at WCC on a whim and Tom Dodd made me fall in love with the trade. I'm not a success by any stretch of the imagination but I know his class influenced me for the better. He was always the center of attention in that class. Not because that was his job but because he was always the wisest, the kindest and the most energetic. He was so full of vitality that I just assumed he'd outlive me by a few decades.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

@ Lea: Nice eulogy. One problem with it is the problem that anybody writing about Tom has, and will have: You really had to be there. A lot of people will read your description of his Creative Problem-solving class, and roll their eyes, as one of my Pioneer teachers did back in the 60s, saying,"Creative Flaking Off, if you ask me!" Luckily, I DIDN"T ask him. I had to invoke Tom, his Creative Problem-solving class, and his Creative Thinking class here at a week ago, after reading an article about an AAPS program that obviously fell short when it came to those concepts. Those concepts, that I started to learn way back then, at Tom's suggestion, and try to continue with today, help me in my day-to-day work all of the time. People often like to talk about, "Thinking Outside The Box," these days, but Tom taught us many specific rules to follow –– it was surprisingly methodical a lot of the time. Being willing to throw out "inside the box" preconceptions was only one of them. As for, "Tom was a vile, perverse, offensive old man" Who else but Tom could you say that of in a spirit of total, unconditional love? As I said, you really had to be there. Luckily, you and I –– and countless others –– were.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

I was a student of Tom's at CHS. I wrote sort of a eulogy, if anyone cares to read my remembrances.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 5:14 p.m.

@Lea I have just finished posting on Greg's FB page that Tom taught us all "how to think", not "what to think". And by your words, I'd say you got the memo. Great job on your post.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

There aren't better teachers than Tom Dodd. I am so appreciative of the tremendous gifts he gave me and hundreds of my friends with his revolutionary and hilarious lesson plans and diversions. We're all smarter, funnier and weirder for having known him.

Bertha Venation

Tue, May 14, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

Tom was my "Creative Thinking" teacher at Pioneer in 1969. The only "A" I ever got. He was a wonderful, caring, thoughtful person.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, May 14, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

Tom was my art teacher at the long gone Roosevelt School on the EMU campus back in the 60's. He was a very popular and likeable teacher. But I wasn't much in to art so when I reached the age that art was an elective I stopped taking it. To this day, 45-50 plus years later I still wonder if he felt "offended" at the time when kids stopped taking art because they didn't have to. He is the only teacher I ever had that I spent even one minute wondering if I offended them. RIP Mr. Dodd your fondly remembered by this knucklehead 45-50 years after I last took a class from you.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

Although we traveled in the same circles, I am so disappointed that I never got to meet this wonderful community leader. Greg Dodd and I are office mates. The article says the Tom was so humble. When I asked Greg about his Dad, Greg would simply say that he was a teacher. Seems to me that father and son are cut of the same cloth that way. Greg continues his Dad's legacy by serving the people of Ypsilanti with kindness and integrity.

John Tucker

Tue, May 14, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

So sorry to hear of Tom's passing, I got to to know Tom when I had my cafe in Depot Town and he always had a smile and a kind word. He was part of a Staurday group that always came in and sparked lively conversation. He will surely be missed.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 10:56 a.m.

Tom was my supervisor from Eastern when I did my student teaching in 2000. I loved when he came in the classroom or pulled me out to see another teacher doing something cool. He said our goal was to be "change agents." The best advice he gave me, though, was "you have to love them all. You may not like them all, but you have to love them." I've always felt fortunate for that connection.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 4:40 a.m.

May his memory be for a blessing (from a former community high student of Toms)


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 4:39 a.m.

Good to hear of all the great work Tom did in regards to Ypsi's Depot Town. Wish the story had included his instrumental involvement at both Earthworks & Community High. Mr Dodd leaves behind an inspirational legacy to so many young people who were fortunate to know him as an extraordinary educator.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 3:19 a.m.

@ PineyWoodsGuy, re: "Although his career was in teaching the "Little Brats" of Ann Arbor [ ( :-) ] at their Community High, Tom's Heart was in Ypsilanti!" Tom loved his job at CHS, he loved the kids, and he loved his co-workers. Please don't try to attach any mean-spirited vibes to him -- that's your take on CHS, not Tom's, and he should be remembered as the incredibly positive man he was.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 4:03 a.m.

Thanx @hmsp and @Dutchy734. I meant no harm. "Brat" = Brother in the Slavic. Ya gotta admit, there were a lot of Umich prof kid brats @ Comm High and Tommy "tamed" them (to some extent). Tom was The Master Teacher! Let's look aroon fer some more Tommy teachers! God knows, we Need them Now!!!


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 3:29 a.m.

I don't believe PineyWood meant any harm. Knowing Tom as both a student of his at CHS and a friend for the past 17 years after I high school, he would say this about us. This may be part of the reason he was so happy I bought a home in Depot Town seven years ago...


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 3:12 a.m.

Community High class of 1998. My junior year Tom introduced us to Lenny Bruce and Garrison Keillor. Tom was the funniest pro thought person I've had the pleasure of meeting. He will be missed. Thank for teaching and loving Ypsilanti.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 2:37 a.m.

Tom was one of the most Memorable Guys that I have had the privilege to know. Although his career was in teaching the "Little Brats" of Ann Arbor [ ( :-) ] at their Community High, Tom's Heart was in Ypsilanti! RIP Buddy, appears that you went "quick," which is my prayer when my Time comes . . . (none of us get out of Planet Earth alive. Dig?).

Carole Clare

Tue, May 14, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

Correction: June 9th is on Sunday. WE will be celebrating his 78th Birthday. Carole Clare


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 2:04 a.m.

Tom will be sorely missed by many, if not the whole community of his friends. R.I.P. Tom. You made a difference that will live on.

Samantha Towler

Tue, May 14, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

Twenty years ago, Tom helped me start my security guard company. In fact he was instrumental in getting my first contract. I loved him for having faith in this woman who had a big dream. He was always there to keep me positive and on track. I will miss your smile and your humbleness. Rip.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 12:26 a.m.

I audited his Creative Thinking class at Pioneer High in 1970. What a wild and crazy guy! He was an encouraging teacher. he will be missed.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 11:54 p.m.

See, there are people who believe in Ypsi. I am also one of them. RIP Sir.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

I was a student at "Earthworks" (aka Pioneer II) in 1972-73. Tom was one of the most interesting, funny and fun loving people I've ever met. Made a difference in my life at a troublesome period. Time to rest now funny man. You are so dearly missed.

Bryan Ellinger

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 11:06 p.m.

Many fond memories of Tom. My heart sank upon reading this headline. My heartfelt condolences to Tom's family.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 10:53 p.m.

Tom was such a vibrant, loving, and rebellious spirit. Very funny, and always positive. He had a wide range of knowledge and a fantastic grasp on obscure history; everything from early americana to Black Flag. We had the pleasure of seeing Tom every week at the Cafe and we will miss him dearly.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

@ CybeRolfe: Yeah, and I may have been one of your classmates, if I guess your name right. Hint: I solved the problem of his clock-less classroom.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

I may have been among those that Tom first taught in Creative Thinking at Pioneer - we were lucky that we got him, and not the River Rats! He must have been barely out of college then, but already had a rapport with me and my friends. I can chime in with those that have told about his character and influence on impressionable young people, and I have striven to think creatively ever since. Rest in peace, Tom!


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 10 p.m.

This makes me very sad. Rest in Peace dear friend.

T Wall

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 9:41 p.m.

Both of our children attended Community High School. We were very fortunate to have such caring and thoughtful teachers at Community and Tom was right at the top of those great teachers. He was always a sensitive and caring teacher to all of his students. He encouraged his students to write for the school newspaper and each of his students developed a sense of confidence in their ability to write. Tom had a soft voice and listened very well so you felt relaxed when you had a conversation with him. What a great teacher and a wonderful person who touched so many lives in a positive way.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

Tom was BY FAR my favorite teacher at Community High. He treated his students like equals (imagine that). It mattered to him that his students enjoy the process of learning. Is there anything more one could ask of a teacher? I don't remember much from my days at Community (heh-heh) but I have many fond memories of Tom's classes. I'm smiling right now just thinking back on those days :)

doug mcmahon

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

Tom Dodd gave the most amazing lecture while I was a student at Community High School, the topic was the History of Western Architecture I believe. He took a roll of paper about 2 feet wide and taped a continuous piece on the wall of the room all the way around. He began by drawing, with a marker, two triangles, and began the lecture with the Pyramids of Giza. He then proceeded to draw as he lectured (all from memory) into the Greeks and Romans with drawings of columns and arches, etc, through to the Renaissance, into modern, feverishly drawing (very well) the whole time. He ended with two tall rectangles to represent the World Trade Center towers that he drew next to where he started with the Pyramids, and ended with, "And this is where we have ended up" or something to that effect. It was absolutely brilliant.

James Mann

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

Tom was a teacher who saw the world as his classroom and everyone in it as his students.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Met Tom just a few years ago but what a good and engaging guy he was, truly an Ypsi jewel! I appreciate all he did to help make this town a little bit better each and every day!


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

He was a wonderful, vibrant, intelligent man. My heart aches at the sudden loss of such a pillar in the community. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Gregory Dodd

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

My mom Bettie Dodd and I are announcing my dad Tom Dodd's 78th BIRTHDAY PARTY AND CELEBRATION OF HIS LIFE on Sunday, June 9, 2013 from 2-5 p.m. at Frenchie's in Depot Town. You know he didn't like formality. He wanted people to be positive. Speeches at 3:00 p.m. Plenty of beer and wine. Help us remember how he left this world a better place. Do not send flowers. Donations should be made to the Ypsilanti Historical Museum.

Katrease Stafford

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:45 p.m.

Thanks for sharing that information, Gregory. I'll add the information to the story.

Thinkin' it Over

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

Tom was one of the most inspirational, funny, and caring teachers I ever had. I am so sad to learn of his passing. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family. Please know that he will be sorely missed and very fondly remembered by everyone who knew him.

Paula Gardner

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

I was so sorry to hear this news. I knew Tom as a Depot Town advocate - and I recall always learning something from his Depot Town Rag, which was a joy to read. I imagine that the humor and style that came through in that publication are big parts of what made him a memorable teacher, too.

Paula Gardner

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

Great story, Matt. Thanks for sharing that!

Matt Cooper

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

Paula, one example of his sense of humor was back in 1980, in his American Humor class. n the first day of class I walked into the classroom to find Tom sitting behind his desk, behind a newspaper held up so you couldn't see him, feet propped up on the desk. We (the students) took our seats and waited for him to begin class. After several seconds, from behind his newspaper, he says out loud..."Brooke Shields...Sounds like a contraceptive for trout!" That was just Tom's sense of humor. He was an amazingly funny, cool, compassionate, dynamic and awesome person. I miss him already.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

Tom was a wonderful man,I will miss seeing him.No one has written about his time teaching at Roosevelt High School on Eastern Michigan Campus.He taught art for at least 4 years.One was truly lucky to be in his class.What a sad day

Katrease Stafford

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

Thanks, Sred for providing more of Tom's history. In speaking with a few people, I really began to understand the reach he seemed to have through various parts of the local community. Every single person said he was involved in so many things, that it was hard to recall everything he did. It seems as if he touched many.

Matt Cooper

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

I don't think you could meet Tom, and get to know him even a little bit, without loving him. He was a great man and an even better teacher. One of my first classes in high school was Tom's "American Humor" class at Commie High in 1980. He was one of the kindest and funniest people I have ever known, and it is truly an honor to have known him and taken a few classes with him way back when. There is only one Tom Dodd, and I'm a better person for having known him. RIP Tom Dodd. With the sense of humor you had, you and God are going to have a blast!!


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

Wow! I just mentioned him here at one week ago today! I was writing of the Creative Thinking, and Creative Problem-Solving classes that I took from him at Pioneer, back in the 60s. I also got a chance to re-connect with Tom at CHS in the 90s, and up until he retired. Great guy! I'm sure that there will be a huge gathering to celebrate his life, and I'll be sure to be there!


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

Tom Dodd made a great impression on impressionable kids like me. He taught us critical thinking, humor, and how to be individuals. I didn't realize his impact until I got to college and saw how few freshmen could actually think for themselves. His impact on Ann Arbor's youth was probably much greater than his impact on Depot Town, but both were extremely positive. He'll be missed.....RIP Tom.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:05 p.m.

This makes me very sad. He and Eisenberg were my two most favorite teachers st commie.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

Soon to be folk hero Tom Dodd. Rest in peace!

In doubt

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

Where did he teach school at?


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 9:53 a.m.

Community High, I was a student, in fact he was a teacher of a lot of different subjects. No one went threw there and didn't get at least one class he taught. If they did they missed out on his incredible character, and easiness he made all his classes. Though they were hard, he some how made it so easy. Till this day, I use rules he gave me to use for writing. My favorite class was American Humor, lol, it was funny, and easy, but it was an English credit, and all we had to do is write any joke on paper and read it out loud in class. He graded the paper on proper English, and it's humor, if he didn't laugh at it then it didn't get an A grade for the day. Everyone got an A at the end, but I learned important writing techniques some how that still work for me. Good Bye Mr. Dodd, RIP, he was a great man.

In doubt

Tue, May 14, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

Thank you.

Matt Cooper

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

Yes! I had forgotten Earthworks. I was still in grade school when he was at Earthworks, but I lived just around the corner from that school.

Gregory Dodd

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

Community High. Earthworks (Pioneer II). Roosevelt. And my home.

Matt Cooper

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:15 p.m.

Community High, from 1977 to 2011.

Katrease Stafford

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

Tom taught at Community High School for a great portion of his career. He then taught journalism classes at Washtenaw Community College.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

This whole community has suffered a huge loss. Tom was a great asset to Ypsilanti and just an awesome person in every way.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 6:44 p.m.

He taught my journalism class. Great, genuine person. Very charismatic, unique personality. The type of man you don't forget. Literally. I couldn't tell you who most of my college professors were but I won't ever forget Tom.


Mon, May 13, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Very well put!

Sabra C Briere

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

I first met Tom when we both worked at Community High School His rapport with students and staff alike was admirable. We remained friendly, although our paths didn't intersect very often. I had lunch with him a while ago - and am deeply saddened that I won't have that opportunity again.

Susie Q

Mon, May 13, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

Tom was a vibrant, upbeat inspirational teacher for many years. I was unaware of his connection to Depot Town. He'll be missed.