Thomas L. Belding
September 04, 1936 ‒ July 30, 2014
Thomas Lee Belding died peacefully at his home on July 30, 2014. He was 77 years old. He was retired from the insurance profession, including many years with Midland Service Agency and his own company, Belding Associates. He was a prominent citizen of Galion. In one of his efforts, he championed the move to save the Central Hotel (Ritchey House) on the Public Square from destruction. It then became the Galion Senior Living Apartments, where he resided over his final 13 months of life.
Tom was born in Conneaut, Ohio to Albert Lee Belding and Helen (Wolcott) Belding on September 4, 1936. Following the death of his mother during his birth, he was reared by Vera M. (Telling) Belding. He became a funeral director and served in that capacity at the Belding-Webster Funeral Home in Geneva until he returned to Bowling Green State University. After brief military service, there he earned a bachelor’s degree (Marine Biology). He made connections that launched his eventual move from Maumee, Ohio, to Galion and his career in the insurance industry.
He is survived by his wife, Ellen Jane (Black) Belding, Crestline, daughter Jill A. (Jared) Dailey, Crestline, sons Jeffrey W. and Jonathan M. (Stephanie) Belding, both in Columbus, and brothers Ronald J. Belding, Geneva and Charles D. Belding, Columbus. He was preceded in death by his older brother, Peter W. Belding. He had 7 grandchildren: Nicole, David, Kelsey, Andy (wife Danielle), Allison, Ellen, and Leannan. He also had 7 great grandchildren: Landon, Jaxson, Jaiden, Sophie, Brysen, Jocelynn, and Savannah.
Tom was known for many things; he was truly one of a kind. He always had a joke or story to tell for every situation. He never missed a punchline. He was a true “garage saler” and a collector of anything that captured his interest. For many years he enjoyed disassembling and reassembling cars. He and Jane had a home at 128 S. Boston St. that once resembled a well-merchandised antique store. It was fascinating to visit, but most of all it was a place welcoming to family and friends of theirs and their children.
Tom was a giving man. Throughout his life, family and community always preceded business. He relished loading the family into the camper and taking them on the road, especially to Fort DeSoto Park in Florida for the annual spring vacations. He served on the ADAMH Board, Mainstreet Galion, and Galion Civil Service Commission. He was a tireless fundraiser for the March of Dimes for many years.
In what would be his last weeks of life, he started discussing buying another motor home and hitting the road again, at his weekly breakfasts with his kids at the Big Plate Diner in Galion. We believe he got his wish. Drive on, Tom: You will be missed.
NOTE: Tom donated his body to science through Ohio University Hospitals in Athens, Ohio. Family and friends will gather in remembrance and celebration of Tom’s life on Sunday, August 24, from 1-4 PM at the Richardson-Davis Funeral Home at 218 S. Market St. in Galion, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family’s wish is that donations be made directly to the Galion Fraternal Order of Police or the Galion Fire Department earmarked for ongoing educational opportunities and training, fulfilling Tom’s involvement with the Galion Civil Service Commission.