The Legacy of Tom Casperson Remembered

ESCANABA, Mich. (WBUP) — A former State Senator from the U.P. passed away from complications of lung cancer.

Tom Casperson was a Republican Senator from Escanaba that had been battling lung cancer for more than two years.

He had served on the Michigan Senate from 2011 to 2018 and also served in the Michigan House from 2003 to 2008.

Casperson was 61 when he passed away and is survived by his wife as well as four children.

The following statement is from Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox, regarding the passing of Former Senator Tom Casperson:

“I am incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of my friend, Senator Tom Casperson, after his long battle with cancer. I had the distinct pleasure of serving with him in the legislature, and I was always inspired by his commitment to our shared values and to the people of Michigan. Tom Casperson will be remembered for his dedicated service to the Upper Peninsula, and he will stand as an example for future generations of public servants looking to better their communities. On behalf of all Michigan Republicans, I want to send our most heartfelt condolences to Senator Casperson’s family and friends.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today issued the following statement on the death of former state Senator Tom Casperson who passed away at 61 years old after battling lung cancer.   


“Tom Casperson was an unwavering public servant, who made sure Yoopers always felt like their voices were heard in our state Capitol at every point during the legislative process. While our politics varied, Tom proved that it was still possible to find common ground and work together to do right by the people of Michigan. As Senate Democratic Leader, I was proud to work across the aisle with state Senator Casperson to expand health care coverage through the Healthy Michigan plan, which now ensures coverage for more than 800,000 Michiganders across our state. Despite his diagnosis, Tom remained committed to doing the people’s work as he battled this vicious disease. My thoughts are with Tom’s family during this difficult time.” 


After funeral arrangements are announced, a release will be issued to lower the United States and State of Michigan flags in his honor. 

State Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township, issued the following statement on Monday upon the death of former Sen. Tom Casperson:

“Sen. Tom Casperson was a giant in the Upper Peninsula. His passing leaves an unfillable hole in the hearts of those who loved him and in the lives of the people he served for so many years.

“Tom was a brother, a friend, a mentor, a confidant and a partner in both work and fun. He helped me get into professional politics and guided me every step of the way. To say that he meant the world to me would be an understatement.

“He fought the good fight — in the logging business, in the halls of the state Capitol, against cancer — and did so humbly, with dignity and grace, yet with the spirit of a world champion. He attacked everything with passion. Big or small, he made the people’s issues his issues. To have Tom Casperson on your side was to have a teammate unwilling to quit, and that is part of what made him such a beloved and effective legislator in the U.P. 

“As colleagues and friends, Tom and I shared many moments together, often in the car during hours-long commutes listening to the Packers on the radio. But what I most cherish is our shared love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That bond of faith helped each of us through many discouragements and hard moments when the way to live our faith was anything but clear. For me, he was the embodiment of Proverbs 27:17: ‘As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.’

“I had my last chat with Tom a few days ago. We celebrated some great wins and bemoaned the continuing struggles across the U.P. We talked about the need to keep mining, doing forestry, and moving propane. He spoke of his love for his family and friends and we prayed together, thanking God for eternal life. I know I will see him again. The best is yet to come.”

Noting the steady support he provided in his years in the state Legislature, the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) mourns the death of former state representative and senator Tom Casperson.

“Sen. Casperson championed many causes close to the hearts of his fellow native Yoopers, and was a friend to the Mackinac Bridge,” said MBA Chairman Patrick “Shorty” Gleason. “Our deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this sad time.”