Thomas Wade Sheets, 61 years old of Decatur, Indiana, passed away at 12:33 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at Summit City Nursing and Rehabilitation in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
He was born on July 23, 1956 in Decatur, Indiana, the son of Lewis Lindbergh and Mary Alice (Lee) Sheets. Lewis L. Sheets passed May 5, 1963 and Mary A. Sheets (deceased) married Harold C. Hoffman (deceased) on September 1, 1967.
Tom is survived by his sisters, Vicki Milholland and Julie O’Beirne, brother, Michael (Diana) Hoffman, sisters-in-law, Adele Sheets and Shirley Hoffman, and brother-in-law, Richard Penrod.
Tom had rich and meaningful relationships with each of his nieces, nephews and their children: Michele (Jeffrey) Warner; Stephanie (Michael) Fawcett; Richard Leon Penrod, II, (deceased); Sarah (Jamie) Tharp; Nicholas (Rebecca) Hoffman; Jonathan (Leah) Sheets; Kristofer (Aideen) Sheets; Jennifer (Nicholas) Baughman; Tiffany (Brandon) Myhre; Matthew (Aimee / deceased) Sheets; Erin (Vinnie) Espinosa; Vincent Milholland; Ryan (Elisha Tran) O'Beirne, Cole O'Beirne and Logan O'Beirne.
He was proceeded in death by his brothers, Jesse Sheets and Ronald Hoffman, sister, Ruth Ann Penrod and brother-in-law, Allan Milholland.
Tom graduated from Bellmont High School in 1974 where he participated four years on the Swim Team and was co-captain one year. He was a 1974 Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship competition. He attended Purdue University West Lafayette and received his Bachelor of Science from Indiana University Fort Wayne in 1978. As a graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law he received his Juris Doctor degree on May 17, 1981. While in law school, Tom participated in a program performing legal work for the underprivileged. He was admitted to practice in Federal District Court and was a member of the American Bar Association, Indiana Bar association, Adams County Bar Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity. He established his private law practice on May 28th 1981. Tom’s law career spanned 33 years. Along with his general practice, he served as IV-D Deputy Prosecutor and a Public Defender in Adams County.
Tom not only practiced law, but also had his Indiana Teacher’s License. He had a thirst for knowledge and loved to share what he learned. He taught classes at the Paralegal Institute in Fort Wayne and Criminal Justice at Bellmont High School and Norwell High School.
Tom was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Preble Indiana for 51 years and served as church secretary one year.
The family will hold a Memorial Service at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Preble Indiana with The Rev. Daniel J. Brege officiating.
In lieu of flowers suggested Memorials to Hospice. (Family Life Care, 108 S Jefferson St, Berne IN 46711) or the Donor's Choice.
Arrangements by Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home, Decatur, IN.