WWII veteran worked as GE engineer

Published March 20, 2019

LYNNFIELD — Michael J. Tomich, 96, of Lynnfield, passed away peacefully on March 13, 2019.

Born in New York City, he was the son of the late John M. Tomich and Mary (Chantala) Tomich, immigrants from Eastern Europe looking for a better life for their children. Michael was in aviation school as World War II started, and served his country proudly as a Staff Sergeant airplane mechanic stationed in North Africa. After the war, he earned his bachelor’s degree from NYU under the GI Bill of Rights and began a 50-year career as an engineer at General Electric.

In 1955, he married Helen, the love of his life, and in 1958 they moved to Lynnfield to raise their family. He worked tirelessly, receiving numerous supervisory promotions, and was credited for the invention of a system to contain broken turbine blades in the event of a jet engine failure. As a member of the self-sufficient “Greatest Generation,” he performed almost every home and car repair project with meticulous precision.

As a good neighbor, he generously gave of himself with his expertise, tools, and time. As a good father and grandfather, he gave his love and support, and delighted in the successes and achievements of his family. As a good husband, he showed his love for his wife in ways too numerous to count. He had a passion for square dancing, opera and symphonies, and took great pride in his lawn and his shrubs. He waged daily war with the dandelions and squirrels who threatened his property.

After retirement at the age of 75, he relished his regular meetings with his GE “old timers” groups. His resiliency was near legendary, as he bounced back from many medical aliments over his final 21 years, including falling off the roof at age 88 while trying to clear the gutters. He was a testimony to the power of exercise, good nutrition and clean living. He cherished 60 years of marriage to Helen, who worked to the age of 90. He would greet her at their front door with his signature daiquiri when she returned home. After her passing, Michael’s children and grandchildren treasured their time with him, knowing that every moment with him was a gift.

He leaves behind John M. Tomich and his wife Susan of Lynnfield; Carol-Ann Sullivan and her husband Joseph of Peabody; and Paul S. Tomich and his wife Lisa Stevenson of Brookline. He is also survived by his four grandchildren: David and his wife Claire of Cambridge; Theresa Sullivan of Niskayuna, New York; Jennifer Tomich of Brookline; and Daniel Sullivan of Peabody. He was predeceased by his wife, Helen (Blitvich) Tomich.

His funeral will be held from the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield, on Friday, March 22 at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass at St. Maria Goretti Church, 112 Chestnut St., Lynnfield at 10 a.m. Visitation for friends and relatives will be held at the funeral home on Thursday, March 21, from 4-8 p.m. Interment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery, Lynnfield.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Michael’s memory to Boston Lyric Opera, PO Box 847897, Boston, MA 02284.