Thomas (Tom) L. Elberson Sr., 82, of Defiance, Ohio, passed away Thursday, January 13, 2022. He was born May 29, 1939, to Elwood and Jean (Pressler) Elberson in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and married Joanie (Lenhart) Elberson on September 14, 1963. Tom graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1961. He furthered his studies in engineering at the University of Cincinnati with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. His work in aviation included jet engine development at Pratt and Whitney, Hartzell Propeller and General Electric. He then worked in mechanical engineering at Dinner Bell, Zeller Corporation and Allied Moulded, retiring at the age of 80.
An active member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, he enjoyed teaching religious education, lecturing, singing in the choir and performing parish website maintenance. Tom also served two terms on the Defiance City Council. Often being viewed as “the serious one” on council, he is best known for wearing a Santa hat during a televised council meeting. While on council he also worked tirelessly in promoting the Route 24 road expansion project. A longtime aviation enthusiast, he was a licensed pilot and last spring flew with his grandson, also a pilot, around his granddaughter’s commencement at Purdue University, which was guest restricted due to COVID-19.
Tom’s greatest pride and joy was his family. His siblings included, Terry (Bonnie) Elberson, Carol (Michael) Sutherland, Michael (Julie) Elberson, Mary (Mark) Hetz and the late Karen (Joe) Tubbs. Tom is survived by his wife Joanie Elberson, sons Thomas (Mary Beth) Elberson Jr. and Matthew (Jennifer) Elberson, daughters Mary (Dennis) Hawkes, and Jill (Thomas) Dempsey, and grandchildren Kate, Finley, Michael, Clara, Annie, Jack, Matthew, Dylan and Grace.
Services will be held at St. Michael’s Church on Monday, January 17, with visitation at 10 a.m., words of remembrance at 10:45 followed by Mass at 11. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Michael’s, Parish Center Building Fund are appreciated.
Schaffer Funeral Home was honored to assist the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be given at www.Schafferfh.com.
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