Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Thomas Paul Hustoles

December 24, 1949 - December 7, 2021
Kalamazoo, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Lending Hands of Michigan
2403 Helen Ave
Portage, MI 49002
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Thomas Paul Hustoles – a Magnificent Life

Without you near me

I can’t see.

When you’re near me

Wonderful things come to be.

-The Fantasticks

Thomas Paul Hustoles passed away in his home in Portage, Michigan, on December 7, 2021, due to severe cardiac complications. A loving, brilliant, and generous spouse, father, grandfather, son, sibling, uncle, scholar, and friend, he lived an extraordinarily full and successful life.

And this is my beloved . . .


Tom’s life started in Chicago on Christmas Eve of 1949, born as the first child of Mary Catherine Syoen (of Belgian, German, and French descent) and Edward J. Hustoles (a proud WWII veteran of Czech heritage). From an early age, Tom was instilled with the importance of service to others and dedication to causes larger than oneself. Raised in Detroit, Tom was naturally cosmopolitan and a leader of his sibling pack: brother Paul and sisters Mary Beth and Barbara. He showed great promise from an early age, graduating from the University of Detroit High School in 1967, while active in dozens of school activities, including the National Honor Society and as captain of the tennis team. He attended the University of Michigan before returning to his Jesuitical educational roots at the University of Detroit on a full academic scholarship. Remarkably, the University of Detroit Law School invited Tom to begin his graduate legal studies before he completed his undergraduate degree. Accepting that invitation, Tom graduated with honors from the University of Detroit in 1972 with his Bachelor of Art degree and then earned his Juris Doctorate summa cum laude in 1973. In law school, he attained its highest honor as the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, and met his life-long friend, confidant, and fellow attorney, Charles Senger.

During the summers, he taught tennis for the Detroit Parks and Recreation. It was then he met the true love of his life, Carol Lee Jakubowski, who also lived in Detroit and attended Mercy High School (a “sister” school of U of D High). Their compatibility was immediate and unmistakable. Lessons evolved into their first date, picnicking in Kensington Park, spending more and more time together while earning their degrees, and then official engagement when Carol graduated from college. Tom clearly found both an intellectual equal and a soulmate in Carol and in 1975, they married in Detroit.

The couple was overjoyed with the births of their daughter Therese Diane in 1984 and son Stephen Thomas in 1985. Therese married her life partner Katie Foran in 2015, and they blessed Tom and Carol with three grandchildren: Hensley Maria, Rylan Dean, and Kolsen James. The Forans reside in Brighton, Michigan. Stephen married Lyndsay Marie Wells in 2013 and they reside in Dallas, Texas, where they both have successful, rising careers.

Immediately after graduation from law school, Tom (with Charlie Senger) served as law clerk to the Chief Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals. In 1974, Tom joined Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C., where he became partner in 1979 and served clients until his retirement in 2013. During Tom’s long, distinguished career, he represented numerous public and private clients, including governmental entities and institutions of higher education, mostly in employment law matters. He negotiated over 25 faculty collective bargaining agreements on behalf of colleges and universities throughout the country, as well as other agreements for governmental bodies. Tom was listed for many years in both the prestigious Best Lawyers in America (management labor category) and Who’s Who in American Law.

Tom provided exceptional service to the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). He was an at-large member of NACUA’s Board of Directors from 1989-1992 and served on various committees. Tom presented at more than 35 NACUA and other conferences and workshops over the years, and served as co-author and co-editor of NACUA compendia, pamphlets, and Journal articles. Tom was named a Fellow of the Association in 2000 and received the Distinguished Service Award in 2006. In 2016, Tom was honored as a Life Member of the Association in recognition of his outstanding service and his sustained and substantial contributions to NACUA and the field of higher education. He was cited for giving tirelessly to his NACUA colleagues over the decades, always ready to analyze and dissect thorny employment law issues. His offers of help were always gratefully received by all. Tom served as a mentor to many (including Carol!) and played a significant role in introducing and bringing members together in a manner that promoted lasting friendships.

In addition to playing tennis, Tom loved watching sports (often with his father, daughter, and son), and eagerly took up golf (especially with his friends and son, and relishing unique opportunities when they all attended Masters tournaments and annual golf trips together).

He was extremely proud and supportive when his spouse decided to earn her own law degree from the University of Michigan, and later her Ph.D., and Tom and Carol both practiced higher education law for decades. Tom and Carol enthusiastically traveled together, both in the U.S. and abroad. Tom developed an early affinity for live theatre, which became Carol’s passion as well. Together they would travel to New York, London, Chicago, and Stratford to enjoy plays, musicals, and art museums. They loved dancing; Tom not only was adept at his own elegant slow dance moves, but gladly learned to waltz and polka with Carol, too. Both active members in NACUA, the couple shared professional continuing education experiences and strong friendships with many mutual higher education colleagues throughout the country, and they tremendously enjoyed attending NACUA events. Tom and Carol adored being parents and immersing themselves in activities with Therese and Stephen, such as family vacations. Their joy exponentially intensified as their children married and their grandchildren were born. In 2001, Tom and Carol fulfilled a life-long dream when they acquired a second home on Lake Michigan, and they treasured their escapes to and sunsets in South Haven, often with family and friends.

Even without you,

My arms fold around you,

You know, darling, why,

So in love with you am I.

-Kiss Me, Kate

Thomas Paul Hustoles, age 71, of Portage, MI, passed away on December 7, 2021. Much loved survivors are his wife, Carol Lee Jakubowski Hustoles; children Therese (Katie) Jakubowski Foran, and Stephen (Lyndsay) Jakubowski Hustoles; grandchildren Hensley, Rylan, and Kolsen Jakubowski Foran; parents Mary Catherine and Edward Hustoles; siblings Paul (Mary Jo) Hustoles, Mary Beth Hustoles, and Barbara (Don Smith) Hustoles; sister-in-law Diane Jakubowski and brothers-in-law Thomas Jakubowski and preceding Tom in death, Eugene Jakubowski; dozens of much loved nieces and nephews; and dear friend Charles (Bettie) Senger.

Cremation has taken place. Private services will be held at a later date. You are invited to visit Tom’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook.

Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo. 269-375-2900.

Memorial contributions may be made to your own favorite charity in Tom’s honor, or to Lending Hands of Michigan, a small, wonderful durable medical equipment loan program which loans equipment for free. https://lendinghandsmi.org