Thomas C. Ellinger, 85, of Newark, formerly of Granville, passed away September 10, 2022, at home in Newark. He was born in New York City to the late Alfred M. and Elizabeth Ellinger, and raised in Montclair, New Jersey.
After high school, Tom enrolled at Denison University, sight unseen. He boarded a train in New York, and by the time he arrived in Ohio, he knew he was home -- the landscape, the livestock, the open spaces – he was awed by the beauty, and immediately fell in love with Licking County and her people. It was a love affair that lasted his lifetime.
Tom paused his education after two years to join the Army. He served for three years – mostly in Germany – then returned to Granville and graduated from Denison in 1963.
Tom was an educator and coach who influenced countless lives. He taught at numerous schools in Licking County and shared his avid love of sports during a 40+ year coaching career. Later in life, Tom returned to his love of central Ohio nature and founded Ellinger and Son Landscaping, a true calling that he did not consider work.
Tom was a conversationalist who knew no stranger. For decades, he spent his mornings at the Aladdin in Granville, talking with friends old and new. Tom’s caring nature gave him the ability to connect with people, and with animals. Tom loved animals. And they loved him. He especially enjoyed the company of many canine companions, who knew the sound of his voice and vehicle, and knew he had treats for them.
Tom enjoyed fishing and traveling to his beloved Gananoque, Ontario Canada on the St. Lawrence River, a place he had visited since he was a child.
Surviving are his wife of 31 years, Mary Ellinger; children and their families: Courtney Ellinger, Scott Ellinger and his daughter Aubrey, Christy and Scott Bellina; step children and their families, Steve and Annette Hegemier and their son Henri, Tim and Lita Hegemier, and Jenny and Chris Fisher; and brothers and sisters-in-law, John and Linda Keller, Jane and Richard Hartnett, Mark Keller, and Jim Barrie, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his brother, Michael, and sister-in-law, Donna Keller Barrie.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 P.M. Friday, September 16, 2022, at the McPeek-Hoekstra Funeral Home. 133 S. Prospect St., Granville with a service of remembrance at 4:00 P.M. with Chaplain Cheryl Simpson as celebrant.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 250 E. Main St., Newark, OH 43055, or the Licking County Animal Shelter, 544 Dog Leg Rd., Heath, OH 43056.
250 E. Main Street, Newark OH 43055