Thomas Michael Richardson

September 6, 1941 — July 3, 2024


Thomas Michael Richardson

Born in Saline, Michigan, on September 6th, 1941, passed away peacefully on July 3rd, 2024, in Surprise, Arizona, with his daughter and granddaughter by his side. Born to Ocie and Shelby Richardson. He leaves behind, sister Ellen Sue Schiffgen, Daughter Victoria Pearl Lee, Son-in-law Wyman Lee, sons Thomas and Alan Richardson, granddaughter Serafina Lee, and Grandsons Griffin and Benjamin Lee. Nephew Jesse Richardson, niece Anita Frijia, seven additional nieces and nephews, and ex-wife, Victoria. Closest friends Randel Maddox, Mike Rowan, Betty Ripple, and Lisa Miranda.

My dad grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he learned to fly early. He lived across the road from the Ann Arbor airport, and the pilots would take him up in their airplanes, unofficially teaching him how to fly and work on planes. Airplanes became his first love; he built model airplanes and won awards for his model buildings. During that time, he made friends with the neighbors who ran a car garage and learned the mechanics of how to rebuild cars and motorcycles. By age fourteen, he had already rebuilt a CHOPPER/ Harley Davidson. My dad knew how to build cars and motorcycles from the frame up. Everyone said he had the Midas touch. He could tell you what was wrong with a car just from the sound of it. Around fourteen years old, my dad attended Tappan Middle School; he thought riding his motorcycle to school would be a good idea. Then, one day, he drives his bike down the school's stairs. The principal tells him to go home and not return, and he doesn't. With his 8th-grade education, he focuses the rest of his life on mechanics and flying airplanes. His first car was a Hudson Hornet, the same as the Ann Arbor police cars; he drove way too fast and was constantly pulled over by police. It became such a problem that he had to sell the car. Soon after, he bought another car and used it in his cab-driving business while attending Washtenaw Community College, earning a certification in auto mechanics until he was in his mid-twenties. He then moved to St. Thomas Virgin Islands, where he flew airplanes and worked on marine boats. During that time, he attended flying school in Puerto Rico and earned his private pilot's license.

While living in the Virgin Islands, he met my mom, Victoria Allston, whom he married in 1969. They attended the Kingdom Hall together and enjoyed a very theocratic lifestyle serving Jehovah.

During that time, my dad worked as a mechanic for the city of Ann Arbor until he retired, and my mom divorced him. He then moved to Arizona and worked for a tortilla company until he retired full-time. He began playing piano, baking pies and bread, and learning the art of winemaking. For the past fifteen years, my dad has generously given his gift of playing music for his guests and homemade goodies, including wine, to his friends and family.

A memorial service will be held July 13th, 2024, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 2 PM Mountain Time via Zoom and in person. Please email: for address. Zoom link: ( 

A celebration of life will be held on July 28th, 4 PM, @ Tommy's apartment buildings, main lounge. All are welcome to share in expressing loving memories and your favorite dish.

Tommy's love, generosity, wisdom and contagious laughter will be deeply missed by all.

In lieu of flowers we ask that you kindly donate to Tommy's family by purchasing the art he loves created by his daughter and granddaughter @ Ladyinthemitten Shop | Redbubble


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