Thomas John Oomen, a lifelong resident of Hart, MI passed away unexpectedly on January 22, 2022 in Eureka, IL while traveling with his wife. He was 68 years old. Tom was a loving husband, father and grandfather.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Jill (Herrygers); sons, Brock (Kasha Clark), Derek (Alison), grandson Hayes, Kyle (Alesha) and grandchildren Johnny, Clint, and Josephine; siblings, Anne Marie Oomen (David Early), Richard (Jackie) Oomen, Marijo (John) Bakker, and Patricia (Duane) Harpe; his in-laws, mother-in-law Nedra (Isley) Herrygers, Pamela (Don) Wernstrom, Deborah Murphy, Randall Herrygers, Eric (Pat Campbell) Herrygers, and Alan (Donna) Herrygers; numerous nieces and nephews and a countless number of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Ruth (VanAgtmael) Oomen, father-in-law Charles Herrygers,and sister-in-law, Ann (Daly) Herrygers.
Tom was born in Hart, MI to John and Ruth Oomen on June 4th, 1953. He was a 1971 graduate of Hart High School. Tom worked in the construction industry for a short period after high school, but soon returned to farm with his dad and brother. On December 27th, 1980 he married Jill, and they had three sons together, Brock, Derek, and Kyle. As a family hobby, he enjoyed competitive tractor pulling. For thirty years they pulled their International Harvester tractor, The Bad Oomen, and won multiple championships at state and regional levels. A highlight was being invited to pull at the National Farm Machinery Show for three years, making it to the finals in 2008.
Tom fulfilled his reckless need for speed on snowmobiles. In his younger years he could be found racing the oval track at Whiskey Creek. In the 1980s, he raced in the “Defiance Cup,” a cross country snowmobile race through Oceana County. He won the race in 1988. Recently, Tom worked in developing the Trail 19 connector into Hart and continued grooming the trail for the Trailriders Snowmobile Club.
He, as a young man, had quite the reputation of being a risk taker on his motorcycle and more recently, enjoyed slowing down for trips on his Harley. He was an avid hunter; whether on the farm or out west. His skill combined with extraordinary luck often landed him a buck. Tom was outgoing and made friends easily. He was truly one of the good ones and was a role model to many.
A farmer by trade, Tom was passionate about agriculture. Over the years he helped to build his family’s farm, developing a diversified operation with his three sons, his brother Rick and nephews, Justin and Jared. Tom was an advocate for the asparagus industry and held various leadership positions with the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, Michigan Asparagus Growers Inc., Michigan Asparagus Research Committee, National Asparagus Council and the Oceana County Farm Bureau. He was the recipient of countless agricultural awards. For being a busy farmer, he always had a suspicious amount of free time to take his grandkids on Ranger rides. He served on the Crystal Valley Fire Department for many years and was currently serving as a Crystal Township trustee.
Visitation will take place on Friday, February 4, 2022 at the West Michigan Research Station, 5185 N. Oceana Drive, Hart, MI 49420 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Church 2380 W. Jackson Road, Hart, MI 49420. Luncheon to follow. In honor of Tom’s memory and in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Crystal Valley Care Fund or to the Michigan Vegetable Council’s endowed research and education fund, (checks to Fremont Area Community Foundation) Note: Michigan Vegetable Council Fund in memory of Tom Oomen Mail to: Fremont Area Community Foundation, 4424 West 48th Street, Fremont, MI 49412 Online gifts can be made at: facommunityfoundation.org (choose “Give Today” and eventually select Michigan Vegetable Council in memory of Tom Oomen).
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