William Tom ’61

William “Bill” Tom Sonoma native passed away suddenly in the home he had lived in for nearly 85 years. William “Bill” Tom collapsed from a heart attack while working on one of his many home improvement projects. Bill would have been 85 this month. He lived all his life (with the exception of college and military service) in the east side farmhouse he was raised in with his sister. The son of “Jane” and “Kees” Tom, Bill is survived by his only sister, Cornelia “Corrie” Lofton. Bill was the eternal big brother in the best sense. Bill’s parents immigrated to Sonoma from Holland in 1932 and farmed near their good friends the Wassenaars. Bill and the Wassenaars’ son, Leonard, were born months apart and were lifelong friends. Joined by neighbor Bill Benning they were known as the Three Musketeers of the eastside. Bill attended local elementary school and graduated from Sonoma Valley High while it was still housed in the present Community Center building. After he graduated from Hope College in Michigan and served in the Army, Bill returned to his 7th Street home and along with his sister, took care of their father. He worked for many years as a continuing education teacher at Sonoma Development Center and Vallejo City Unified School District. Bill enjoyed collecting model airplanes and every December set up and his toy train set in a Christmas village in their living room. Bill was a lifelong learner and was well -informed and passionate about politics. Bill was deeply religious and frequently attended Bible study discussions. Two dear friends from those discussions were assisting him the day he collapsed. He had a strong moral compass, a sharp sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye. The antics of his neighbors and their pets always amused him. He will be dearly missed by his childhood friends, his Vallejo friends, his religious community, his neighbors, and most of all, his sister Corrie. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date for William “Bill” Tom, born October 24, 1936, died October 1, 2021.

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