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Tom was born and raised in Berkeley, CA. He shared many memories (usually involving laughter, despite the situation) of his childhood, the time spent with his siblings and cousins.
He graduated from St. Mary’s College High School in 1944. He enjoyed participating in sports, as well as the education he received from the brothers. He kept a strong desire for learning, throughout his life.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1944, serving in the Pacific during WWII, as a signalman. In 1950, he enlisted in The Marines, served as a sergeant in Korea.
Tom married Rita Weiss in November, 1953. They started their life together in Berkeley, CA, then in 1956 moved to Pleasant Hill, CA. They had four children – Karen Palmer (Curtis), Thomas Jr., Brian, and Kenneth; four grandchildren – Robert J. Lewis, Jr. (Heather), Joseph Lewis, Lisa Vier (Kevin), Zachary Reed Parsells; six greatgrandchildren – Ashleigh Lewis, Robert W. Lewis, Alissa Lewis, Hailey Vier, Keira Vier, and Ally Vier.
He worked several jobs prior to finding his place at New York Life, as an agent, in 1960. He had a successful career there, until retirement in 2011. He enjoyed getting to know his clients – his personal relationship with them was perhaps more important to him than the business.
His hobbies included singing in the choir at church (and at home), and acting in community theater.
For many years he enjoyed swimming, getting in to do his laps. Later in life he went on daily walks, covering multiple miles, eventually aided by a walker. Though his walks became shorter as the Parkinson’s progressed, he persevered till walking was no longer possible.
Tom was very appreciative of the help he received from his family, and the community – rides to church, the care of his doctors, nurses, and caregivers, neighbors checking on him. His positive approach, kind smile, and sense of humor, will be remembered by those who knew him.
Memorial Mass to be held at Christ the King Church in Pleasant Hill, Thurs, Aug 1st at 10am. Reception to follow immediately after in the Parish Hall.