Cover photo for Harlo (Tom) Thomas Stapleford's Obituary
Harlo (Tom) Thomas Stapleford Profile Photo
1943 Harlo 2016

Harlo (Tom) Thomas Stapleford

July 12, 1943 — September 22, 2016

Obituary Image

Harlo “Tom” Thomas Stapleford, age 73, Navy Vet, loving husband, father, papa, ladies' man, foodie, snappy dresser, and accomplished traveler, passed peacefully at home, September 22, 2016.

Tom was born July 12, 1943 in L'Anse, MI., son of Harlo (Rusty) and Irene (Schroeder) Stapleford. He graduated from L'Anse High School in 1961. Tom Served in the US Navy January 1962 to May 1966 during the Vietnam War. As the last surviving sibling, Tom was proceeded in death by his Brother: Robert Stapleford and Sister: Ilene Harden

The women in his life were numerous. Tom lived in “Lady-Land” with his wife and five daughters. He married his main squeeze, Sheryl Lydman, almost 50 years ago, with whom they had the five girls, Tammy (David) Leclaire, Brandon, Brynn of L'Anse, MI; Tracy (Brian) Teetzen, Skye, Cassidy of Kaukauna, WI; Shannon (Clyde) Miller of Hancock, MI; Synthia Stapleford-Morin, Randy (Tristan), Ryan, Ramsey of Pelkie, MI; Tommi Stapleford-Vasquez, Makalah, Onastatia of Hancock, MI. He taught them to fish, select a quality hammer, love nature, and to just be thankful. He took great pride in stocking their tool and tackle boxes.

He excelled at fishing, hunting, carpentry, metal detecting, gardening, breeding tropical fish, and reading any history book he could get his hands on. He loved to flip between watching the ball games and anything on The History Channel. He also took great pride in his service, achieving the rank of electrician's mate second class in the Navy.

Tom took fashion cues from no one. His signature, every-day look, was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt designed by the fashion house Fruit of the Loom, flannel shirt and baseball cap.

Tom traveled extensively. He always spent the extra money to upgrade to a creek view for his tent. Many years later he purchased a used pop-up camper for his family to travel in style, which spoiled his daughters for life.

He had a life-long love affair with crab legs, venison steaks, home-made fries, Twinkie, and Oreo cookies, He didn't care for fast food or burnt offerings (Mom's cooking) and he particularly disliked the change to cold weather. It is not lost on his family that he died the very first day of fall. This can only be viewed as his final protest.

Visitation will be held at the L'Anse Baptist church on Friday, September 30th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., his memorial service to follow. Rev. Gerald Bishop will officiate. The Baraga County Area Veterans will conduct military rites at the church starting at 3:00 p.m. under the direction of American Legion Post #444.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the Harlo Stapleford Memorial Fund at the Baraga County Federal Credit Union.

Finally, the family asks that in honor of Tom you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time. Tom wanted everyone to be on God's time.

Friends may sign Tom’s guest book or send condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harlo (Tom) Thomas Stapleford, please visit our flower store.


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