US Coast Guard

Thomas D. McLaughlin

May 7, 1932 ~ July 14, 2020 (age 88)

Obituary

Thousand Oaks, CA

Thomas D. McLaughlin passed peacefully into his Lord’s arms on July 14, 2020. Tom was born on May 7, 1932 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tom served three years in the Coast Guard before receiving a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota. On a blind date he met Audrey Bodine, the woman with whom he would then share and cherish a loving 63-year marriage.

Tom started his professional career at Hewlett-Packard, and later worked in management at Arco Solar, Vivitar Corporation, and Pertec Computer.  Tom would then embrace his entrepreneurial passions and start his own company, Far East Sourcing.

Tom was deeply committed to social justice and giving his time to help others. In 1961, after moving to San Jose, Tom became involved in church-related volunteer efforts such as the Head Start program for migrant farmworkers. During this time, he was also an active protestor during the Vietnam War.

After moving to Thousand Oaks in 1972, Tom became active in the People-to-People program providing hot meals to the homeless, as well as the St. Vincent de Paul Society providing services to the most vulnerable in the community. He also worked at Christopher House, giving clothes and supplies to AIDS patients. 

What Tom felt most passionate about was the many years of service as the on-site supervisor of Ventura County’s Winter Shelter program. For his life-long service, he was recognized with the prestigious Jefferson Award for public service in 2004.

What made his service in every community he lived in truly special was his patience, integrity, and judgment-free approach towards all those he served. His generosity, kindness, and compassion knew no bounds, as he devoted his life to serving the most vulnerable in society.

While Tom was an only child, he became quite the family man. With eight children, forty-one grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, Tom was affectionately known as “Papa”. Quick-witted, stubborn, and fiercely intelligent, Tom often shared his wisdom and beliefs with those he loved. He was deeply passionate about his faith and the community he belonged to at St. Paschal Baylon Church and was a loyal Notre Dame football fan.

Tom is survived by his devoted wife Audrey; sons Keith (wife Liz), John (wife Jane), Mike (wife Ellen), Mark (wife Gabriela), and Robert (wife Colleen); daughters Jean Wentz (husband Rick) and Lee Quiroz (husband Ted); as well as his many loving grandchildren who will miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his mom Evelyn Tuohy and his son Rick (wife Michelle).

Due to COVID-19, a private service will be held for family only.

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