Thomas Brigham, Jr., 86

Published 10:43pm Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thomas Brigham, Jr., 86
Born: Jan. 19, 1926
Died: Sept. 5, 2012

Thomas A. Brigham, Jr., 86, of Niles, died at 5:20 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, at the home of his daughter in Granger, Ind.

He was born Jan. 19, 1926, in Benton Harbor to Thomas Arthur and Ethel (Wiggins) Brigham, Sr. He served in the United States Army, returning as a veteran of World War II. He lived in Decatur for several years, and since 1965 had lived in South Bend and Niles.

Tom was first employed on the New York Central Railroad, and then became a member of the Teamsters Union Local 364 in South Bend. He drove for many years for the Steel Warehouse prior to his retirement.

He was always fascinated by machinery that moves, with a special interest in “trains, planes and automobiles.” He had built and flown remote control scale model airplanes — both wire remote and radio control. He also participated in scale model railroading; and collected old cars — both full-size and scale model. He and his wife enjoyed ballroom dancing.

On July 24, 1948, in Decatur, he married the former Virginia M. “Ginny” Mathias, with whom he celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary prior to her death April 9, 1989. He was also preceded in death by a great-grandson, Evan Brigham, and a brother, Anthony Bartholomas.

Surviving family includes his children, Steven A. Brigham of South Bend, Carol L. (Philip) Kee of Granger and Julie A. (Kent) O’Brien of Old Fort, N.C.; grandchildren, William (Sabrina) Hartstein IV, Brandy Hartstein, April Brigham, Keith Brigham, Verdell Bruce Baker, Jr., Aron Brigham, Amber Bundy, Kevin Bundy, Jr., Kristin Baker, Ty Bundy and Kent Stewart O’Brien II; great-grandchildren, Bryan, Stormie, Tyler, Alyssa, Melissa, Paige, Haley, Devin, Kora, Tori, Jacob and Adalynn; and Tom’s brother, Eugene Brigham, of Decatur.

The funeral service for Thomas Brigham, Jr. will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 10 at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles with Pastor Jim Dunn of the Yore Community Church of Benton Harbor officiating. Committal will follow at Mission Hills Memorial Gardens in Niles. The family will receive relatives and friends on Sunday from 2 until 4 p.m. at the funeral home.

Contributions in memory of Tom may be made to the donor’s choice.

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