American Veteran 01

Thomas Anthony "Tom" VanEtten

June 5, 1947 ~ April 6, 2021 (age 73)

Obituary Image


     Thomas Anthony VanEtten, age 73, of Bannister, MI, passed away Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI.

     Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes Elsie, MI, on Friday, April 9, 2021 at 1:00 P.M., with his brother Dan VanEtten officiating.  Burial will follow at Eureka Cemetery, Eureka, MI. Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 8, 2021 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 & 6-8 P.M. at the funeral home.

     Tom was born in St. Johns, MI on June 5, 1947, the son of Samuel and Mary Ellen (Stambersky) VanEtten. He attended Elsie High School and resided in the Eureka/Bannister area most of his life.  Tom proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was a member of the VFW Post #5315 in Peacock, MI for many years.

     On April 19, 1975, Tom married Sandra Kay Spousta at the First Congregation Church of St. Johns. They were blessed with nearly 46 years of marriage.

     Tom was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, trapping, and mushrooming. He loved his classic cars and attending swap meets with good friend Doug Cook and his brother Dan. He enjoyed traveling and always looked forward to his Canadian trips to spend time with his good friends Michel and Juley Dillon. Tom was a story teller and could captivate an audience with his tales.

     Tom dearly loved his family. He treasured his times with his children and grandchildren. They spent many hours fishing on his ponds and boats. Tom and Sandy enjoyed their time in Florida fishing and happy hours with good friends.

     Tom is survived by his wife Sandra, daughters: Tina (Alan) Bird, and Tomi Ann; grandchildren: Zachary Dick, Ayden Thomas Bird, Lindsey Bird and Christian Bird; and great granddaughter Maeve Taylor. He is also survived by his sisters and brother: Jane Marek, Joy (John) Jelinek, Jo Wheeler, and Dan (Elaine) VanEtten. He was preceded in death by his parents.

     Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Anthony "Tom" VanEtten, please visit our floral store.


Visitation - with family present from 2-4 & 6-8 P.M.
April 8, 2021

2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Smith Family Funeral Homes - Elsie
221 E. Main Street
Elsie, MI 48831

Funeral Service
April 9, 2021

1:00 PM
Smith Family Funeral Homes - Elsie
221 E. Main Street
Elsie, MI 48831

April 9, 2021

2:00 PM
Eureka Cemetery
2252 E. Hyde Road
St. Johns, MI 48879


Charity of Donors Choice

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