Visionary. Implementor of grand ideas. Aggrandizer.
Husband. Father. Brother. Friend.
There was no idea too big, vision too grand, project too large. If Tom could dream it, he knew he could make it happen. And he did. Beginning at Kent State University, where he graduated with a business degree in 1970, Tom established the Kent State concert series. If he was going to put on a concert, he saw no reason to settle for a local band in an auditorium. Tom filled stadiums, bringing in major acts like Sammy Davis, Johnny Carson, and Bob Hope.
After graduating from Kent State, Tom served in the Army Reserves, and began what would be a long and successful career in the auto industry. Starting in 1981, with a single Honda dealership, Sunshine Honda, Tom would expand and grow his business enterprise, Suncare Dealerships, to include nearly a dozen individual dealerships and several car brands, spanning Michigan, Ohio, and New Hampshire. He believed strongly in investing in his associates, helping many get their start in the car business, including opening their own dealership, and mentoring countless others.
In 2004, Tom stepped away from the dealerships, thinking he could enjoy retirement. Retirement went as everyone who knew him expected: in 2004, he kicked off a second career in real estate development, starting with the Fairway Villas residences in Catawba Island.
Before Fairway, the interior areas of Catawba were largely undeveloped. Tom recognized their potential. Combined with Fairway Estates, established in 2017, the residential communities have brought more people and business to Catawba Island and greatly enhanced the experience and environment surrounding the Catawba Island Club.
Tom didn’t reserve his energy only for his businesses. In every community in which he lived, he became deeply involved and worked tirelessly to help improve and grow the community. In Plymouth, Mich., where Tom and his family lived for 35 years, he was involved in the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, including as President, during which time he initiated the now-internationally recognized annual Ice Sculpture extravaganza, attracting tourists from all over the world to Plymouth, and organized major shopping events designed to encourage Canadians to spend their money in Plymouth during periods when the Canadian dollar was especially strong. Tom was also a member of the Plymouth Rotary.
After leaving Plymouth, in 2004, Tom and his wife, Joyce, made Catawba Island their permanent home after spending the previous 21 years as seasonal residents. In Catawba, Tom served on the boards of Le Marin, where he and Joyce owned a home, and Fairway Villas. Tom was a member at the Catawba Island Club and a former member of the Crew’s Nest. At their winter residence in Delray Beach, Fla., Tom was an active member of the Board of Directors at The Manor House Condominium Association.
Tom Bohlander, 74, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Monday, July 1, beloved by all. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Joyce Weed Bohlander; children: Rachael Ann Bohlander of New York, N.Y., Alexis Pauline Bohlander (John Hardy) of Denver, Col., Kathryn Helene Crotty (Sean) of Grosse Pointe, Mich., and Paul Kang Bohlander (Aidan) of Alexandria, Va.; grandchildren: Eoin and Emmet Crotty, and Thomas and Maren Rose Bohlander; and his sister, Celia Quinones (Jose). He will be missed.
All services will be private for Tom’s family and friends. Those wishing to make a memorial gift in Tom’s memory are asked to consider The Make-A-Wish Foundation or the Ottawa County Humane Society. Arrangements entrusted to Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Home, Port Clinton, 419-732-3121 and www.walkerfuneralhomes.com