Thomas R Wood, age 69, of Torrance, CA, went to be with His Lord on June 23, 2010, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born in San Francisco, CA, he was the son of George Wood and Martha (Hepner) Wood. After attending the University of Michigan, Tom worked at Hughes Aircraft Company as a Senior Staff Engineer for over 25 years. He was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his loving wife, Carol, and his loving son Dylan Caldwell, and many other family members and special friends. Tom overcame many hardships and obstacles in his life but continued to have a pleasant demeanor. He was well loved and highly respected. He had an innovative mind and mechanical talent. He was a very gentle man and was known for his love of adventure and life, his deep curiosity and interest in so many things - from astronomy to PAC 10 football to roller derby girls and collecting coins. He also had a love for music - so much so that he taught himself how to play the harmonica, trumpet and guitar. He had a quick, dry wit and silly sense of humor and had the ability to make people smile and laugh - even during the most stressful of times. He loved to travel and experience new places, people and cultures and he was able to travel to many parts of the world throughout his life but his favorite place to be was at Yosemite. He enriched so many lives of those around him - he was a true gentleman and he will be greatly missed. There will be a memorial service for Tom at Yosemite National Park on Thanksgiving weekend. The family asks that memorial donations be made in Tom's name to Yosemite Valley Chapel, c/o Pastor Brent Moore, PO Box 456, Yosemite, CA 95389; or Restore Hetch Hetchy, PO Box 565, San Francisco, CA 94104.

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  1. Dylan, please know our thoughts are with you, and hope you find peace and comfort from your Mom, Jonas, Kevin, and friends.

  2. Dear Thomas’ family is a time of passion and hardship to you, due to the passing of our sweet,and lovely father,he was a good man and true friend. we appliciate his contribution even here in Africa. his passing left us with great surprise, but that is what god decide to do. both of us we are in the same way, what we have to do is to be ready anytime and to make sure that our life is glorify god as what our sweet use to live. and that will be the only means of meet him again in heaven . AMEN

  3. Tom was truly one of a kind. I remeber having admired him as a child in Michigan, running the sand dunes at Lake Michigan when visiting Grandpa and Grandma Petzold in Holland. Later, he housed me while I found a place after moving to California. Tom became the dearest friend to my wife Thane and our children Spencer, Sam, and Clarissa. He was always very fun to be around, especially on the Fourth of July doing fireworks. He encouraged and supported me in amateur astronomy and was quick to assist in helping Spencer with his science projects. There are so many dear memories that we shared , but certainly his suprising us at Thanksgiving with the announcement of his son Dylan and his marriage to Carol are the most precious. Tom, we miss you so much, but find reassurance in knowing that we will be reunited. We know that you are in heaven serving as our guardian angel. We look forward to celebrating your life in Yosemite this fall.

  4. Dear Carol and Dylan, Tom first came into my life when he was a Teen-ager and came to live with my father and mother,Al and Ruth Petzold. It was determined that he had Tuberculosis and had to go into a TB Hospital in Grand Rapids.We are mailing some DVDS and a book that we hope will be helpful.This is a great loss to you,but we are greatful for the joy you brought into his life. We remember the Mariage Cerimony and Dinner in Yosemite. May God give you an extra measure of His Strength as you go forward, Merl and Ann Petzold

  5. I met Tom when I was about seven or eight years old. I can’t remember which year but, I remember likeing him immediately. His response to me was as if he was the same age, playful and fun. Tom was always a gizmo guy too. I remember being a kid and taking a shower at his house and the shampoo and soap were in a push button contraption on the wall. I thought to myself “that is so cool”. Little did I know that cooler things were to follow. As my mother and I got to know him more, the more he introduced us to the things that he enjoyed. Which soon became things we all enjoyed. Tom was big on camping and visiting the beautiful places this country has to offer. He also had a speed boat and taught my mother and I how to waterski. This would end up being something that we would do several times a year. I learned quickly and loved it. We all did. For years we did this and I always felt that he loved me as his own son. I always loved him, and that to this day has never changed. He gave me some of the most important and special experiences of my life. For that I will always be grateful. He was a beautiful and special part of my life……. I love you Tom.

  6. I met Tom when I was a drafstman @ Hughes Aircraft in 1966. From the minute I saw him I new we were going to be friends. And he became my dear friend for ever. He was such a gentle soul and what a great listener! We cried on each others shoulders many a times, I will never forget his sweetness and kindness. I will always love you Tom, and I will never forget you.

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