The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Thomas Jeramy Kangas


January 18, 2019

REDLANDS, Calif. - Thomas Jeramy Kangas, aka Thom, Temo, Tommy, Uncle T, or TK, fought a 17-month battle with esophageal cancer where on Jan. 14, 2019, he passed peacefully with loved ones surrounding him.

Thom was born Sept. 10, 1978, in Ironwood. He was the youngest of three children of Jim and Marie Kangas. On Sept. 21, 2013, he married the love of his life, Renee Martinez. They enjoyed spending time together celebrating the simple things in life with their fur-baby Izzy.

Thom is survived by his wife, Renee Martinez Kangas; his parents, Jim and Marie Kangas; his sister, Bonny Vosu; brother-in-law, Sid Vosu; mother-in-law, Dora Martinez; brothers-in-law, Mario Martinez and David Martinez, and sister-in-law, Mohana Martinez.

He is survived by nephews Silas and Espen Vosu and Noah Martinez; and nieces Bella Kangas, Kendall Martinez and Emma Martinez. Thom was also survived by his godparents, Art and Sue Spets. Uncles and aunts include Leroy and Shirley Kangas, Ron and Nancy Spets, Cindy and Steve Miller, Art and Sue Spets, Waiko Spets, Linda Spets, Ruth and Rudy Mlasko and Kathy and Marv Maki, and a special lady, Jean Rautiola. Thom leaves behind many loving cousins and a large extended family throughout the United States and Finland.

Thom loved his friends like they were family, including Jeremy Pumala, Chris Boyd, Jimmy Estola, Cory Moderson, Steve Peterson, Nick Reath, Joe Roebuck and Jason Saari. He treasured many other friends who enriched his life.

He attended Newport and Norrie Elementary schools and graduated from L.L. Wright in 1997. In those years he enjoyed playing Little League, Babe Ruth, Polar Bear hockey, and high school tennis and football. Along with those activities, he loved swimming, boating, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, snowshoeing and weight-lifting, which led him to compete in the Strong Man competition.

He attended Gogebic Community College and was certified through the state of Michigan Corrections Department. He later attended Northwest Trucking School and was certified in commercial trucking and heavy equipment.

Thom enjoyed a diversified career. His first job was mowing lawns at the Gogebic Country Club. He worked at Chief Oil, Gogebic County Mental Health, and state of Wisconsin and Michigan Department of Corrections. After a long career in corrections, he went on to work with Swift Transportation and drove an 18-wheeler truck. Lastly, he enjoyed working at Metropolitan Warehouse until he began his treatment of cancer.

Thom is preceded in death by his big brother, Jimmy, on July 14, 2017. He was also preceded by his grammas, Ruthie and Marian, his papas, Tommy (his namesake), Arvo and Waiko, a niece, Tuula, uncle, Raymond, in childhood, aunt, Ida, in infancy, and many other loved ones.

Please join Thom's family for a "time of reflection" on Friday, May 24, 2019, at the Lodge at Little Girl's Point from 2-6 p.m. Thom wanted a casual "come as you are" gathering. That was Thom!

Thom lived by the mantra from 'Coach Jimmy V' (Valvano): "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."


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