Thomas P. Karnath, age 78, of Mio, went home to be with Jesus, on January 6, 2024. He passed away peacefully at home with his wife and (bonus) daughter Amanda by his side. Tom was born January 6, 1946, in Bay City, Michigan, to John and Marguerite Karnath.
Tom was raised Catholic and as he would proudly say, "I was in church seven days a week". He was proud of the core values he took away from that upbringing. He had a good childhood and often told stories of what he affectionately called his “goofy” family. He and his older brother John, "Butch" spoke in a weird language that only they could understand. They would just laugh and laugh seeing the looks on others’ faces as they went through their antics. He loved his big sister, Bonnie, and he liked to tell stories of being a pain in her butt. Tom was able to travel to North Carolina this past summer to surprise her for her 80th birthday. They laughed and reminisced for days.
Tom joined the USAF and was later sent to Vietnam in December 1967. He completed a yearlong tour there. Tom was one of the lucky ones that came home but this stayed with him his whole life, affecting him both physically and emotionally. It's something he didn't talk much about. Tom was a life member of the VFW Post #6950 in Kawkawlin, where he also served as a Post Commander for two terms, and he was a longtime member of the Mio American Legion.
Tom married his wife, Cherrie, after a whirlwind courtship. They met while working out at the MAC (gym). They were friends for a couple of years before they walked the Mackinac Bridge together for their first date on Sept 6, 2009. They were married just three months later on December 5, 2009. They were baptized together in July 2010 a week before setting off for Alaska. After Cherrie retired, they traveled coast to coast; North, South, East & West; Ontario Canada and Yukon Canada.
Tom was a joker and loved to laugh. He would save silly jokes and weird things he found at garage sales, or a friends’ boot from her broken ankle and hang them on the walls in his mancave. He was given a joke about a housefly from his friends, Joeli and Dave, and he thought it was the funniest thing ever. He went right home and hung it up.
Tom was a member of the Tripoint Church of God. He loved Jesus and the church family. He was asked to join the worship team (later Cherrie would join) and he would sing in a deep voice full of love for the Lord. Tom also enjoyed riding his motorcycle and helped for many years with the Blessing of the Bikes at the church, with Cherrie by his side. It wasn't often you would see one without the other. They dubbed themselves Team Karnath and a team they were.
Tom had previously been married to Tomi and together they had a son, Adam. Tom and Adam loved riding their motorcycles together or just sitting around a bonfire drinking beer and shooting the breeze.
When Tom and Cherrie married, he became "BD" (Big Daddy) to her three kids Steven, Amanda and Michael. He loved them all like his own.
Tom is survived by the love of his life, Cherrie; his son, Adam; his bonus kids, Steven (Leslie) Miller, Amanda (Brian) Foust and Michael Welch; his grandchildren, AJ Karnath, Trevor (Kylie) Miller, Tate Miller, and Alyssa Welch. Also surviving are his loving sister, Bonnie (John) Piccolo; his nieces and nephews, Jean, Margie, Doug, Sheri, Tina and Jeremy and their families; his sister-in-law, Jeanette (Steve) Anske; his bonus niece and nephew, Tiffany and Travis and families; and his sister-in-law, Jackie Karnath. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Butch.
Tom will be genuinely missed by all who knew him.
Following Tom’s wishes, cremation has taken place and no services will be held. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” 2 Timothy 4:7