Thomas Lee Masck

August 1, 1937 - April 27, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI



Sunday, April 30, 2017
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263

Rosary 7:00 PM

Driving Directions


Monday, May 1, 2017
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
Sts Peter & Paul Catholic Church
520 Myrtle NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Monday, May 1, 2017
2:00 PM EDT
Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church
520 Myrtle NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Sts. Peter & Paul Christian Service
520 Myrtle St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


A true Michigan native, a lover of water and the beach, and always one to enjoy the fresh air in the outdoors, Thomas Lee Masck leaves behind a lasting legacy. He was a loving husband, a caring father and a cherished grandfather, brother, and friend to so many. His spirited soul will be dearly missed.

Life in the 1930’s was an exciting time. In 1937 specifically, Americans marveled at the abilities of airplane pilots; Howard Hughes broke the transcontinental flight speed when he traveled from Los Angeles to Newark in under seven and a half hours! Though he was breaking records, another respectable pilot by the name of Amelia Earhart completely disappeared while in flight - a trace never to be found of her or her plane. San Francisco celebrated the completion of the Golden Gate suspension bridge, and in Chicago, the very first blood bank opened - revolutionizing medicine. As if all of this was not exciting enough, John and Lorraine Marie (VanDyke) Masck were announcing the news of their sweet baby boy's birth in late summer. Thomas Lee was born on August 1, 1937, at his family home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was welcomed by two big sisters, Nancy Jo and Sharon. Soon, he helped welcome their little sister, Carlynn to complete the family.

The Masck's lived a busy life in a home located at 1525 Fremont Street NW. Their father owned the Masck Market on Alpine and Richmond, and their mother stayed home to keep the house and children organized. The children kept her on her toes, as they were full of energy, giggles, and an occasional disagreement. Tom attended St. Mary's Elementary and later, Union High School. From early on, Tom took to the water and the outdoors always seeking the opportunity to explore and find peace.

At the age of 17, Tom left school and joined the United States Navy where he served for two years. He was stationed in Norfork, Virginia and he toured the Mediterranean aboard the USS Tidewater as a radarman. Fate had other plans for Tom too, as he found love early on in his adult life. Through a mutual friend, Tom was introduced to Theresa Passarelli. They dated for three years before deciding to get married. Their wedding was celebrated on May 21, 1960 at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, and the reception took place at 5th Street Hall. The newlyweds honeymooned in Montreal, Quebec Canada, his father’s birthplace.

Upon their return home to newly married life, the happy couple resided in an apartment located at 667 Lincoln Avenue, NW for a year before they bought Tom’s family home on Fremont Avenue NW. They lived there for 12 years before building a new home in Tallmadge Township, where they spent their lives to this day.

After discharge from the Navy, Tom worked as a meat cutter at Masck’s Market, his father's grocery store, until the store closed in 1963. He then started a new job at Spartan Warehouse located on 44th street at the time. He worked for Spartan Stores for 30 years until his retirement in 1993.

Theresa and Tom excitedly became parents in 1961 when their first son, Gregory, was born. Not long after, Gregory was given the gift of two little sisters, Bridget in 1963 and Rebecca in 1966.

Their family of five enjoyed so many memorable times together. Every Sunday in the warmer months, they would head to North Muskegon beach to enjoy the beautiful West Michigan summer with the entire extended family. They also experienced amazing family vacations to Hawaii, Colorado, many places on the east coast, and several trips to Michigan's upper peninsula. The family always looked forward to the cottage rental on Silver Lake in the summers. During these vacations, Tom loved to sail on his sailboat. Throughout the years, several furry friends became part of the family; Sparky, Cleo, and Brandy could always be counted on for some sloppy kisses or warm cuddles. Because he was an animal lover, Tom enjoyed their company. The kids always saw their dad tend to the lawn - especially since it meant he got to use his “fleet” of John Deere tractors!

As the years progressed, and Tom's children found adult lives of their own, he and Theresa were able to enjoy time together again as a couple. During this period in their lives, they were blessed with the gift of grandchildren; they joyfully celebrated the births of Alec, Christopher, and later the joining of Ian, and Alexander to their family. Tom loved to spend time with each of them. He genuinely enjoyed spending time with all of his family.

When Tom found moments to savor alone, he loved to read novels about World War II, the Civil War and Michigan Maritime history books. If it was baseball season, he never missed an opportunity to cheer on his Detroit Tigers! Tom was an active member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church where he devoted himself to Christian Service and the church’s food pantry for many years helping those in need. Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" was his favorite radio show along with The History Channel. Tom was a meat and potato kind of guy...he found happiness in pretty simple living. Faith and family were the central part of his life and he was most certainly an inspiration to all who knew him.

Most recently, Tom suffered an aortic valve problem which led to bypass surgery on March 29th. He recovered from the surgery initially, but his health soon diminished due to other complications. He never made his way out of the hospital, as his health continued to decline. His loving family never left his side, and they were there on the morning of his passing on April 27, 2017 at Spectrum Hospital. Tom was an exceptionally hard worker, and he lived his life dedicated to the love he felt for his family. His admiration for the outdoors and the simple pleasures in life was an integral part of Tom's soul. We will hold the memories we shared with Tom close to our hearts, and he will forever be lovingly remembered.

Thomas L. Masck, aged 79, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Thursday morning, April 27, 2017, with his loving family at his side. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Theresa Masck (Passarelli); his children, Gregory (Gayle) Masck, Bridget McGuire, Rebecca Masck; his four grandchildren, Alec McGuire, Christopher McGuire, Ian Karambelas, Alexander (Natasha) Karambelas; his sister, Carlynn (John) Teremi; many nieces, nephews and friends. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, John and Lorraine Masck, his sisters, Nancy Jo Pickett and Sharon Gerke. Tom honorably served his country in the US Navy. He retired from Spartan Stores where he worked in the warehouse for 30 years. He was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother, and a friend to all. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, May 1st, at 2:00 PM, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 520 Myrtle St. NW. Burial in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet Tom’s family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW on Sunday, April 30 from 5:00-8:00 PM, with a rosary prayer at 7:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tom’s memory may be made to Sts. Peter & Paul Christian Service. To read more about Tom’s life, to sign his guestbook and to leave your own memory of him, visit his web page at