Thomas Edward Grainger, 34, of Kalamazoo formerly of Battle Creek, died peacefully on Friday, June 29, at his home.
He is survived by his lifelong partner John Nelson, father Gregory Grainger, mother Linda (Grainger) Parker, and sister Emily Grainger (Bretton Fry); aunts Anna Sue (Doug) Weese, Wanda (John) Monarch, Kathy (Bob) Whitman, and Carolyn (Rick) Frantz; cousins Jim (Lynn) Ramos, Denny (Jamie) Ramos, and A.J. Monarch; and many second cousins. He was preceded in death by cousin Michael Ramos in 1998.
Tom was an EMT who had an enthusiasm for Emergency Medical Services and lived to help others. He is a graduate of Lakeview High School and the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center, and attended the University of Michigan. While in Ann Arbor, he earned Advanced Emergency Medical Technician certificates, and worked as a Medical Assistant, providing dialysis care to children in the University of Michigan Hospital System.
Tom moved from Ann Arbor to attend the University of California at Riverside. During summers, he worked as a Wilderness EMT and Counselor to children at Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, where he also provided piano accompaniment and taught art and music classes.
Tom believed in lifelong learning and recently completed EMT advancement coursework in the Allied Health Program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
Tom loved to inspire and encourage others. His family and friends have described him as incredibly kind, a great friend, brave, indomitable, trustworthy, loyal, sweet spirited, and as having a beautiful soul. He had a boundless curiosity and developed interests in many fields, including math, science, medicine, and philosophy. He was also passionate about music, theater, movies, travel, languages, and figure skating.
Tom loved music. He especially loved performing with the Battle Creek Boychoir as a youth, played oboe and drums in high school, and as an adult played piano nearly every day.
Tom was knowledgeable about art and made an excellent impromptu docent at museums and art galleries. He was also a practicing artist who enjoyed painting, drawing, printmaking, papermaking, and origami. His last work was a serene mountain scene.
His varied interests coupled with his innate compassion gave him an ability to connect with anyone, whether as an EMT at the ER calming a distressed patient, making a child at music camp who had never been away from home feel safe, or giving thoughtful advice to those lucky enough to seek his counsel.
The family will be celebrating Tom's life privately at Floral Lawn Memorial Gardens.
We are thankful for the friends and family who shared in Tom's life and we are humbled by the outpouring of love you have shown.The family suggests that those who wish to honor Tom's memory consider a contribution to the Battle Creek Boychoir or to your favorite charity. Assistance with memorials is available at the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services