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Thomas G. Johnson 1947-2013


New Buffalo Times, September 19, 2013:


Thomas Johnson, 65, of Grand Beach, Mich., former New Buffalo city manager, passed away peacefully in Franciscan Communities Hospice of Michigan City, Ind., on Saturday, September 14. Arrangements have been entrusted with Sommerfeld Chapel of New Buffalo.

Tom was born in Woodbury, N.J., on October 22, 1947, to George C. and Mary (Belch) Johnson. Growing up in New Jersey, he was interested in sports of all kinds.

After high school, he came to the Midwest, graduating from Michigan State University with a major in Criminal Administration. He eventually found heaven in Idaho Springs, Colo., as a city administrator. His love for the mountains never left.

When it was time to return to the Midwest, he chose New Buffalo, where he served twice as city manager. He loved all the people who served City Hall and would brag that the best city workers were right here in New Buffalo. Much of the development in New Buffalo, including the Harbor Development, was accomplished under his time.


On March 28, 1993, he married Karen Larkin.

Tom retired on December 15, 2007, for health reasons. He also served on the Planning Commission for the Village of Grand Beach in 2012, helping create the Village’s first master plan.

Upon retirement, he and Karen spent winters in Fort Myers, Fla., but always returned to Grand Beach in the spring.

Tom coached baseball in New Buffalo and was a former member of the New Buffalo Lions Club.

Tom is survived by his wife, Karen; children, Luke Johnson of Denver, Matt (Erica Rahm) Johnson of New Buffalo, and Elizabeth (Jon) Vaughn of Villa Park, Ill.; step-children, Anne (Hugh) Tuomey of Wellsely, Mass., Dorothy Carroll of Beverly, Ill., John Larkin of Long Beach, Ind., and Michael (Francie) Larkin of Evanston, Ill.; 18 grandchildren; his mother, Mary Johnson of Bridgman, Mich.; and sisters-in-law, Nancy Smith of Springfield, Ill., and Marcia Jansen of Indianapolis.

He is preceded in death by his father, George C. Johnson; sister, Susan Johnson; son, Steven Larkin; daughter-in-law, Stacey Larkin; and brother-in-law, Mike Smith.

The family will receive friends for a time of visitation from 4pm to 8pm on Thursday, September 19, at Sommerfeld Chapel in New Buffalo. Private family burial will take place at a later date at Pine Grove Cemetery in New Buffalo.


Memorial contributions may be made to the American Transplant Organization, 47 West Polk Street, Suite 100-133, Chicago, IL 60605. Friends wishing to leave the family a message of condolence may do so at www.sommerfeldchapel.com.