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Thomas Everett Champion

February 19, 2018 ~ November 17, 2018

Thomas “Tom” Everett Champion, 90, of Terre Haute, passed away Saturday November 17th in Terre Haute Regional Hospital. Tom was born in Terre Haute to Claude C. Champion and Elaine Neal Champion. Tom spent the first five years of his life at home with his parents but because of the Great Depression his parents were forced to take he and his brothers to the Rose Home for Children. Tom’s work assignment at the Children’s Home was shoveling coal in the Steam Power Plant. He graduated from Gertsmeyer High School in 1946. During his time at the Rose Home, Tom was able to watch the Circus’s set up across the street. Tom began a lifelong love and interest in the Circus and Carnivals, spending many years traveling and repairing their pianos and organs.  Tom was well known across the country as a Wurlitzer repair man.  In 1945, Tom was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was sent to the Panama Canal Zone where he became a Firefighter.  In 1950, Tom joined the Terre Haute City Fire Department. In 1968, he was appointed Captain in charge of 10 Fire Stations maintenance and supplies as well as being the Historian for the Department. In 1974, he began researching the Fire Department , publishing a history book. He retired for the Fire Department in 1978. In 1980 Tom began restoring Fire Station Number 9 and turned it into a Fire and Police Museum where he was curator . He organized the Vigo County fair’s first Thrashing Show.

Tom is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Dickerson Champion (m. 1950), a son, Thomas J. Champion and his wife Ida of Brazil, a daughter, Janise LaPlante and her husband Gary of Terre Haute, brothers; Jim Champion and his wife Delores of Terre Haute, and Richard Champion and his wife Betty of Florida, a sister, Ruth Morris of Terre Haute, grandchildren Larry King Jr., Justin King, and Thomas F. Champion, great grandchildren, Hannah King and Justin King. Services for Tom will be Wednesday November 21, 2018 at 1 pm in Greiner Funeral Home, 2005 North 13th Street, Terre Haute, Indiana, 47804. Visitation will be from 11 am to service time at the funeral home Wednesday.  Burial will be in Highland Lawn Cemetery. Online condolences can be made at www.grienerfuneralhome.com

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