Thomas Working ’69

Thomas Working ’69, of Zeeland, passed away on Friday, January 13, 2017, at his home.

Thom was born in 1947 and raised in Holland, graduating from Holland High School in 1965. Thom received his Bachelors of Music Degree in Music Education from Hope College in 1969 and received a Masters of Music Degree in Performance from Western Michigan University in 1971. He played French horn with the Grand Rapids Symphony, and later with the Kalamazoo Symphony, of which he was a member for 19 years.

Thom taught in the Byron Center Public Schools for 37 years. In addition to teaching in Byron Center, he taught music part-time at Grand Valley State University and at Hope College for 20 years. He played French horn in the Holland Symphony Orchestra, and was the director of the Holland American Legion Band for 10 years. He was a member of the Christ Memorial Church orchestra and brass groups, and founded the West Michigan Horn Choir.

Music and humor were a core part of Thom’s life.

Throughout his life he had the opportunity to be part of many amazing musical organizations, making many long lasting friendships. Some of the high points in his life were the World Symphony Orchestra in 1971 and the trips with the Legion Band, but the greatest high points and satisfaction came from the births of his four children.

Thomas Working is survived by wife of 46 years, Julie Kooiman ’70 Working, children: Jon and his wife Michelle, Carrie, Chris ’02, and Deb ’05; Thom’s sister Joyce Working, Julie’s siblings Dave and Jody Vanderwel, Sue and Don Plantinga, Jill Kooiman and Steve Bushouse, Cathie Fredricksen, Luanne and David Kauer, Mary and Jim Keating, John and Barbara Kooiman, and many extended family and friends.

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