In loving memory of

May 13, 1951 - September 8, 2021

Thomas J. Donckers, 70, of Marquette, died unexpectedly Wednesday morning, September 8, 2021 at his home.

Tom was born on May 13, 1951 in Marquette to the late Frank and Elizabeth (Anderson) Donckers.

Tom was a member of the last class to graduate from Bishop Baraga Central High School in 1969. He then attended Northern Michigan University before going into business with his father in the family confection business known as Donckers Candies & Candles until his father retired in 1987. Tom then relocated to the state of Colorado where he was employed as a big game guide and outfitter, a position he held until moving back to Marquette in 2008. At the time of his death, he was employed at Northern Michigan University as lead custodian in the Devos Art Museum and Arts and Design building.

Tom's lifelong passion was baseball in all of its forms. He was a member and sponsor of many softball teams and was also on a couple of state championship teams. After injuries caused him to retire from active playing, he became an umpire for the game he loved. He held NCAA certification as a hardball umpire and also officiated on the high school level. Tom was a widely respected softball umpire and officiated in many different leagues around the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin.

In his free time, Tom enjoyed hunting, sharing a cold beer with friends and for always having a good story to tell.

He is survived by one son, Fritz (Gabrielle) Donckers of St. Ignace; five grandchildren, Kyla, Lucas, Madison, Jean and Daphne; a brother, Frank (Linda) Donckers of Marquette as well as several nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death besides his parents was his younger brother, Robert Donckers.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, September 24 at 11 a.m. at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Marquette with Deacon Don Thoren officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Tom's name to the Richard M. Jopling Post 44 of the American Legion Baseball Program in Marquette.

Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the Donckers family where memories may be shared at


Susan Thronson wrote on Sep 22, 2021:

"Rest in peace, Tom; and extending my sympathy to Frank, Fritz and grandchildren."

Betty J. Richer wrote on Sep 21, 2021:

"Fond and fun memories of Tom in the 60's at Doncker's. We were so full of mischief, and would laugh to the point if tears! As I look at wedding photos, there you are..with your gang, always the funster. May wonderful memories help to heal the hearts that grieve your loss. Condolences to the dear Donckers family."

Brett Schwenke wrote on Sep 21, 2021:

"My deepest condolences to Tom's family. I have fond memories going hunting with Tom back in the day. Rest in peace. "

Jay Lauscher wrote on Sep 21, 2021:

"Tom was a big brother to me growing up in Shiras Hills. I learned a lot being around him and his family. Going to miss you buddy! Jay Lauscher Dade City, FL"

Helen Forsberg wrote on Sep 20, 2021:

"Dear Tom, rest in peace and may your memory be eternal. "

Butch and Ellen Fassbender wrote on Sep 19, 2021:

"Our sincere condolences go out to Frank and his family on the loss of Tom. He was a good friend and will always remember the good memories we share."

Mary Anderson wrote on Sep 18, 2021:

"Great memories going to Donkers after class at Bishop Baraga & ordering my favorite turtle sundae with all our friends Take care of our Lords sweet tooth Tom????"

Grace Chaillier wrote on Sep 18, 2021:

"The members of BBCHS class of 1969 have so many memories of all our times spent together. Tom is an integral element of those recollections. He will be missed by many. Walk with the Creator, Tom, until we all join you. "

Jane Milkie wrote on Sep 17, 2021:

"Expressing sympathy at the passing of Tom. I will miss seeing him hard at work in the School of Art and Design, along with his friendly hello. May he rest in peace. "

Gail Fingel wrote on Sep 15, 2021:

"You will be missed my friend...just thinking of you brings a smile to my face remembering all the fun times and the laughs. Rest in peace."

Doc Myers wrote on Sep 15, 2021:

"I lost track of Tommy when we quit playing ball together in the late seventies. It is nice to learn from reading these tributes that Tom continued through life as a good and loyal friend to many. I'll remember Tom as a friend but also as a good-fielding, aggressive second baseman and a savvy manager for his eponymous team. He enjoyed the game and, above all, was a good teammate. I hope we meet once again on that big Hurley Field in the sky."

Kerry McGinley wrote on Sep 14, 2021:

"Tom and I had some great times together in the 60s and 70s. Playing softball for Donckers and drinking a few snowshoes together are among the many highlights. None of it is forgotten and some really great memories. RIP my friend. Kerry ?Deke? McGinley"

Kathy Akerley wrote on Sep 13, 2021:

"My sympathy goes out to Frank and family on the loss of Tom. Such a kind and gentle man. He will be missed. "

Chuck Langlois wrote on Sep 12, 2021:

"My sincere sympathy to Frank and his family on the passing of Tommy. Fond memories abound of growing up with the Donkers clan and Tommy. May he rest in eternity at peace"

patti and tom beaudry wrote on Sep 12, 2021:

"Tom, we loved you the entire time we knew you . In good times and bad . You were always tom's best buddy growing up. I remember after our wedding ,you drove right up the sidewalk and up to the front door oh the hospital so we could all go in to see my uncle Cliff . It made his day. we will miss you and I know you are resting in peace . Frank and family you have our deepest sympathy . Tom and Patti Beaudry"

Tom and Mary Zorza wrote on Sep 12, 2021:

"I am so sorry to hear of Tom?s passing. He was just a really nice guy. My condolences to the family. He will be missed by the Class of 69!"

Melissa Alan wrote on Sep 11, 2021:

"I enjoyed working with Tom at NMU. He was always so friendly, quick to smile and laugh, and happy to help out. ?Hey there Meliss? followed by his low saluting hand gesture?always made me smile. My condolences to the family. "

Christine Lenzen wrote on Sep 11, 2021:

"Tom was one of my favorite people to run into in the halls of the Art & Design building. He never failed to great me by name with a smile, a nod, and occasionally a laugh. He was a genuinely kind man and he?ll be greatly missed. ??"

Barbara Fassbender wrote on Sep 11, 2021:

"I met Tommy thru his umpiring . He always had a smile on his face and his laughter was infectious. He will be greatly missed by so many. Rest in peace Tommy, may God watch over you. My condolences to his family and the many friends he has left behind way to early! Tim and Barb Smith"

Bill Langlois wrote on Sep 10, 2021:

"Too many memories to share in this writing, but a highlight was underage adventures in the Doncker's candy store after hours. Back door entry from the alley, up to the basement of the store on Washington St., sitting on boxes of french burnt nuts, chocolate covered peanuts, almond clusters, etc....and enjoying whatever brand of beer we could convince someone to buy. Always alert to sudden noises from above making sure we had ample time for escape from our mis-doings. Such exciting childhood times Tom...We also had some very wonderful adult times, acting like children, on numerous trips to Rhinelander, Wisonsin for the annual softball tournaments. Boy, we sure had fun being reckless. My sympathies to Frank and Fritz on Tom's passing, but he chose his direction, as he did throughout his lifetime. May he rest in peace."

JAYNE MARIE ZORZA wrote on Sep 10, 2021:

"When I was five Tom lived two doors from me on Third Street. He was the top guy in Cowboy and cops and robbers. I remember going to his house and playing with his toy horses. I remember his dog always in the doghouse by the back door. My condolences to Frank and the Family Jayne Bourque { Zorza}"

Kurt Greising wrote on Sep 10, 2021:

"I got to work with Tom on different occasions while I was NMU. He was always the first to lend a hand and very honest in his opinions.A good man gone too soon."

Dave Balbierz wrote on Sep 10, 2021:

"Tom was a awesome witty good friend. Can't remember the first time we met but I'll never forget him. His laughter brings a smile to my face. Many good times."

Liz Langlois Ellis wrote on Sep 9, 2021:

"We're so sorry to hear this news about Tommy. We shared such great high school memories together. We hope he is at peace now. Pkease know we all share in your sadness. "