Thomas Joseph “Tom” Larson passed away peacefully December 19 after suffering a major stroke. Tom was born October 9, 1925, in Buffalo, the oldest son of Eric and Margaret. He was raised in Los Angeles with his brothers Vern and Ed, and graduated from George Washington High School in 1943. At the age of 17, Tom joined the United States Navy and served in World War II.
After Tom’s service, he attended Compton Junior College, UCLA, and graduated from the University of Colorado with a BS in Civil Engineering in 1951. There he met lifelong friends and developed a love for Colorado. He returned many times on family vacations, and in fact flew to Boulder this September to visit his brother Ed. He was a loyal CU Buffalo football fan and especially enjoyed watching this incredible winning season!
Shortly after graduating college Tom was summoned by the US Navy and he proudly served in the Korean Conflict as an officer. While at Officer’s Candidate School he met his beautiful wife, Lois, in 1952. They met at a wedding where, by chance, she was a bridesmaid and he was an usher.
They married in 1954 and provided a storybook childhood for their children, Bonnie, Vern, and Sue in Whittier and Placentia. Tom enjoyed a successful career as a civil and structural engineer primarily in the Roof Structure Business. He later combined his charisma and charm with his knowledge base to join the sales department, and retired as sales manager in 1990.
In 1993, Tom and Lois fulfilled their dream and moved to a new home in Fallbrook. There they enjoyed family gatherings, socializing with their many friends old and new, vacationing frequently, and being with each other. They remained devoted parents and loving grandparents to their grandchildren and great grandsons. Tom and Lois celebrated their 60th anniversary with family in 2014. Tom lost his true love when Lois preceded him in death on November 13, 2014.
Tom continued to be healthy and active; driving, and living independently until his sudden, brief illness. His children and grandchildren cherished spending time with him and he continued to provide advice, support, humor and love until his final day. He was blessed to have wonderful neighbors and enjoyed regular happy hour gatherings, movies, dinners, and Padres games with his devoted friends.
While Tom’s friends and family will miss him terribly we are comforted knowing Tom’s life was truly the definition of a life well lived. We also know that we were blessed to be part of a rare and beautiful love story, and that Tom and Lois are together again where they belong.
Tom is survived by his children Bonnie, Vern (daughter-in-law Diana), Sue (son-in-law Gary); grandchildren Bill, Kyle (Vanessa), Julie (Brian), and Allison; and great-grandsons Phinn and Eric. He is also survived by his brother Ed. A private celebration of life will be held at a later time.