Thomas Peter Hartsig, 96, passed away peacefully in his sleep July 22, 2023, at Holly Care Homes, located in Longview.
A proud native of Michigan, Tom was born in Ann Arbor to the family of Otto and Theresa (McGuire) Hartsig on May 9, 1927. His adolescent years were well spent in Fraser High School where he was a pitcher and first baseman for the school's baseball team along with serving as Treasurer for his Senior class before graduating in the year 1945. Tom spent his free time working as a caddy and looking after the grounds at a local golf course, sparking his lifelong love of the game.
Following his graduation, he pursued his passion for numbers, earning a Mathematics Degree and Teaching Certificate from Michigan State Normal College, and later, a Master of Arts from the University of Michigan. His initial career trajectory led him to teach mathematics at the secondary level for a year before he decided to enlist in the Air Force. During his time of service, Tom had the distinguished honor of undergoing pilot training on the groundbreaking Lockheed F-94 jet. This aircraft, recognized as the first U.S. production jet to utilize an afterburner, was an all-weather American intercept jet, heralded for its technological innovation. This training was facilitated at the Vance Air Force Base, Class 52-B in 1952. Following three years of unwavering commitment to the force, Tom was honorably discharged with the rank of a 2nd lieutenant.
Post his stint in the Air Force, Tom took a leap back into the sphere of academia. As an avid educator, he served at both the secondary and college levels until he rose to the position of Department Head. Not one to shy away from innovation, Tom embraced the technological wave, becoming a proponent of computer use in the educational landscape. He contributed to the development of computer applications for curricula, trained fellow professionals, advised the State Department of Education on policy matters, and designed and implemented the MOIS system. He served in various advisory roles at the national level and retired as the Director of Computer Based Instruction for the Macomb Intermediate School District. He was also a speaker at countless conferences and university forums around North America, including appearances at York University in Canada and Harvard University in the U.S.
In addition to his daily responsibilities, Tom held prestigious positions such as Chairman of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Advisor for the National Science Foundation, and the Founder and First President of both the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning and the National Association of Users for Computer Applications in Learning. He was also a board member of the National Association for Educational Data Systems and a member of the Michigan Association for Educational Data Systems and the National Advisory Board for Hewlett Packard Corporation.
His tremendous efforts to incorporate computers in education and improve learning opportunities for children were recognized by the State of Michigan through Senate Resolution No. 559.
Beyond his professional accomplishments, Tom found joy in golfing, hiking, traveling and flying excursions with his son Morgan. Tom found immense joy and satisfaction in gathering his family together under one roof. He relished the shared stories that rekindled past memories and found great joy in creating new ones. His colleagues admired him as a trailblazing innovator, while his loved ones will cherish the memories of his warmth, generosity, and zest for life.
Tom is survived by three sons, Morgan (Christine) Hartsig of Romeo, MI, Bradley (Elizabeth) Hartsig of Longview, WA, Kurt (Therese) Hartsig of Wenatchee, WA, a daughter Kathy (Joseph) Eberle of Honor, MI, Widow of his son Mike (Linda) Hartsig of Tucson, AZ, siblings Rosemary Pietsch of Florida, John (Cindy) of Howell, MI, Widow of James (Jane) Hartsig, Novi, MI, Widow of Billy (Micky) Hartsig, New Baltimore, MI, eleven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jane (Morgan) Hartsig in 1997, two sons, Tommy Hartsig as an infant, and Mike Hartsig in 2021, and five of his brothers, Joe, Larry, Richard, James and Billy Hartsig.
Final arrangements have been entrusted to Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park. A service and burial at the Romeo Cemetery in Romeo, Michigan will be entrusted to the Henry M. Malburg Funeral Home in Romeo, MI announced at a later date.