Thomas J. Korpela of Forest Hill, MD passed away Saturday, August 4, 2012 at Gilchrist Hospice Care surrounded by his family. He was 74 years old. Tom Korpela or Tommy Joe, as he was called in younger days, was born in Munising, MI on February 6, 1938. He attended Sacred Heart Catholic Grade School and Mather High School graduating in 1956 as the class valedictorian. Tom went on to Michigan Technological University and graduated in 1960 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Tom entered the steel industry upon graduation and spent the next 47 years with four different steel companies; Great Lakes Steel in Detroit, MI, Alan Wood Steel In Conshohocken, PA, United States Steel in Fairless Hills and Oil City, PA and Voest Alpine Services and Technologies in Baltimore, MD. During his career, Tom was involved in all phases of the steel business including Turn Foreman, Superintendent, Engineering, Sales, Quality, and Plant Manager of two plants. He also developed 5 patents and wrote two books related to the Steel Industry. On August 4, 1962, Tom married his college sweetheart, Jane Boucher of Menominee, MI. Together, they raised 8 children (5 daughters and 3 sons) and are blessed with 30 grandchildren. Tom and Jane lived in four locations during their 50 years of marriage. The Detroit, MI area in the early 60’s, on to King of Prussia, PA in the mid 60’s and all of the 70’s. The 80’s were spent in Oil City, PA and the remaining years in Forest Hill, MD. No matter where they lived, Tom and Jane were always active in their Catholic Church and the community. They spent their time supporting programs like Meals on Wheels, The Gabriel Project, Knights of Columbus, Parish Council and the Liturgy Committee just to name a few. Tom was also involved with the Goff/Gough Family Association, a genealogical society. He served as President for a term as his mother’s maiden name was Margaret H. Goff. Tom has traced his Goff lineage back to 1686. Tom is survived by his wife, Jane, and 8 children. Connie, wife of Mike McDonnell with 3 children, Jim Korpela, wife Sarah with two children, Eric Korpela, Laura, wife of Mark Nolder with 5 children, Sarah, wife of Dave Richard with 9 children, Christopher Korpela, wife Adriana with 2 children, Stephanie, wife of Brian Atha with 4 children and Elizabeth, wife of Jon Shimaitis with 5 children. Deceased members of Tom’s family are his parents, Henry A. Korpela and Margaret H. Korpela along with his only sibling, John Korpela.
Family and friends will honor Thomas’s life at the family owned Evans Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services – Bel Air, 3 Newport Drive (Rt. 23 & Rt. 24), Forest Hill on Tuesday from 7-9 P.M. and Wednesday from 3-5 & 7-9 PM. with a Celebration of Life Service at 8 P.M. A Funeral Liturgy will be held on Thursday, 11:00 A.M. at St. Mark’s Catholic Church. Interment Private. Memorial contributions in Thomas’s name may be made to Our One Nation Under God P.O. Box 62, Fallston, MD 21047