F. Thomas Hanzel, 70, passed away peacefully in the arms of his Lord and Savior on December 6, 2019, at his residence surrounded by his loving family. There will be a celebration of his life at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
He was born June 22, 1949, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Frank Regis and Dorothy (Bieber) Hanzel. On March 22, 1969, Tom married Patti Williams in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Tom was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. He moved his family to Mt Carmel, Illinois, to work at the Amax Coal Mine in 1978 and retired there after 18 years. Tom was asked and joined the Mine Rescue Team while he served at Amax. He was a very active church member for many years, a Bible teacher and scholar and assisted in many church activities, including head of the men’s ministry for a time and serving on boards and committees for different ministries and churches. Tom and his wife attended numerous pastor conventions and events for many years.
In the 90’s, he became pastor of New Life Fellowship in Mt. Carmel, Illinois, for fifteen years and during that time, he partnered that church with Crossroads from Norris City, Illinois, to have a branch of the International College of Bible Theology in Mt Carmel. Many of NLF members went there as well as some from other churches to get their degrees. Later, Tom co-pastored three churches in Lancaster, Illinois, with his wife Patti, and two churches, Mt Zion & Brown’s Chapel, in Albion, Illinois. He did this up until put on hospice. Tom loved going to the hospitals to visit and pray for when any of our family, our members or friends were there.
Tom was the kindest, humblest Christian person you would ever want to meet. He was recognized even in his work outside of the church. All knew him as a Christian man and respected that. In the mine, he was a shining light in the darkness. Tom was much loved by the congregations he served and counseled over the years, leading some to the Lord or making a positive impact on their lives. He was a devout, faithful and spiritual role model for all. Tom was the best and most loving, devoted husband, father and cherished papaw to his grandchildren. He was an ardent Pittsburgh Steeler fan!
Left to cherish Tom’s memory are his wife, Patti, married for 50 years and 8 months before he passed; his children, Dawn Michelle Hanzel of Lexington, Kentucky, Shawna Kristin Turpin and husband Eddie of Linton, Indiana, and their son, Thomas Eric Hanzel and wife Kristi of Clayton, North Carolina; step-mom, Carolyn Hanzel, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania; grandchildren, Christian, Jordan, Marissa, Noah and Jonah Ricketts;
Haley, Taylor, Isabella (Belle) and Brooklyn Hanzel; great grandchildren, Remington Drake and Warren Thomas; step-grandchildren, Jesika, Damian, Taryn and Cameron Turpin; siblings: Dorothy Will, Carolyn Forsythe, Robert Hanzel (Linda), Mickie Irwin (Michael), Frank Hanzel (Cathee M) & Erik Hanzel (Francesca); in laws; Jim Williams (Sharon), Eddie Williams (Mary); and many other nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers-in-law, Al Will & Richard Forsythe.
Per his wishes, Tom was cremated. There will be a Celebration of Life service at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 512 N. Mulberry Street in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. Family and friends are welcome to a visitation prior to the service from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. at the church.
Memorials can be made in Tom’s memory to the 700 Club or St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital. Envelopes will be available at the church and Short-Cunningham Funeral Home.
Condolences may be sent to www.short-cunninghamfh.com
Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve Tom’s family.
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