Major Thomas E. ĎTomí Line

Sept. 27, 1943 - April 12, 2007

Major Tom Line entered his heavenly home Thursday, April 12, 2007. A Salvation Army officer for more than 32 years, Major Line received his final and greatest promotion when he was promoted to Glory from his earthly home in West Allis.

Thomas Edwin Line was born in Hancock, Mich., on Sept. 27, 1943, to Sennia Elizabeth (Walikangas) and Edward Rueben Linja. The Salvation Army became an integral part of Tomís life at a young age when the organization helped his mother and eight siblings after his fatherís death during World War II, just six weeks after Tomís birth. As a child, Tom knelt beside a living room armchair, and with his mother by his side, asked Christ to cleanse him from sin.

After high school, Tom attended Suomi College in Hancock and Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich., where he earned a degree in teaching. In 1967, Tom entered The Salvation Armyís College for Officer Training in Chicago and was commissioned (ordained) a Salvation Army officer in 1969, as part of The Evangelist Session.

While attending The Salvation Army college, Tom met and fell in love with an amazing woman from Davenport, Iowa: Sandra Songer. The two were married June 27, 1970. Through their dedicated and caring ministry, many lives were changed and souls won to the Kingdom of God. Despite a busy schedule, Tom never lost sight of what was important: being a devoted husband to Sandy, loving father to Tim, Erik, Katie and son-in-law Chris, and doting grandfather to Monica, Nathan and Autumn.

Throughout his tenure as an officer, Tom held a variety of positions in The Salvation Army, including corps officer (pastor) in Waukesha (in 1969 and 1997), Appleton, Madison and Milwaukee (citadel) and Grand Rapids, Mich., Holland, Mich., Lansing, Mich., and Saginaw, Mich. He also used his gift of administration to strengthen The Salvation Armyís work across the Midwest at headquarters in Kansas City, Kan., Omaha, Neb., Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee. He thought it was a special privilege to have served in Waukesha twice, as his first appointment (parish) and his last appointment.

Tom was a man after Godís own heart: compassionate, steadfast, honest and committed to bringing Christ to a hurting world.

Major Tom Line is survived by his wife, Sandra; two sons, Timothy and Thomas Erik; a daughter, Katie (Christian) Casey; and three grandchildren, Monica, Nathan and Autumn. His siblings include Betty (Lawrence) Julio of Ripley, Mich., Gustaf (Lorna) Linja of Lake Linden, Mich., Rose Archer of Toledo, Ohio, Eunice Salminen of Rochester Hills, Mich., and Ellen (Frank) Cox of Palm Bay, Fla. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Edward and Eugene; and sister, Gladys Walman.

A celebration of Tomís life is planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, at The Salvation Army, 445 Madison St., Waukesha, with visitation from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, and one hour preceding the service at The Salvation Army. Captains Daniel and Wendy Faundez will officiate. Internment will be in the chapel at Glen Oaks Cemetery in Chicago following a committal service at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 19, conducted by Colonel Thomas C. Lewis.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to The Salvation Army Waukesha Corps to provide for the needs of the community.

For more information, call Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home and Cremation Services at 542-6609 or visit www.waukeshafuneralhome.com for online obituaries, directions or condolences.