Thomas Reese

Obituary of Thomas Reese

February 25, 1934 – October 25, 2017

73-year Resident of Santa Cruz County

A private family ceremony will be held for a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and devoted friend, Tom Reese who passed away unexpectedly from complications from a brain aneurysm at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Gatos this past week. He was 83 years old. Tom was born in San Luis Obispo, California, and at the age of 10 moved to Santa Cruz. He attended Laurel Elementary School, Mission Hill Jr. High, Santa Cruz High School and earned his degree in engineering from San Jose State University. For more than 60 years, Tom was involved in engineering and construction. He designed and built the family home on Meder Street, and continued to live in that house for the rest of his life.

Tom loved people, and was very civic minded as a volunteer, philanthropist, and organizer. Tom's handshake was his word; whether building a church or ringing a bell for the Salvation Army, his punctual style and reassuring smile will truly be missed in the Santa Cruz Community.

Tom was a member of the 20 30 club, Santa Cruz Rotary Club, and served on the board of directors of the Salvation Army for many years. Tom served others who had little, and his connection to the Salvation Army was especially rewarding to him. He was an accomplished pilot, and enjoyed the many family vacation getaways to distant places as well as time spent at his homes in South Lake Tahoe, and Maui. He was a sports enthusiast, and an avid 49er, Giants, and Warriors fan. Many fond memories will be cherished of his incredible love and dedication to his family.

Throughout his career, the pride in his work and designs was easily recognizable. The construction of St. Josephs' Catholic Church in Capitola, the town clock in Downtown Santa Cruz, and the renovation of the Coconut Grove at the Boardwalk were examples of his favorite achievements.

Tom is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Janet Reese, his two daughters; Kelly Rubin of Simi Valley, and Gail Reese of Topanga Canyon, his beloved grandchildren: Chase, Laura, Justin, and Alexis. He was preceded in death last year by his twin brother, Col. Bill Reese USAF ret.

Please make any kind acts of charity in Tom's memory to the Salvation Army (721 Laurel Street – Santa Cruz), or Santa Cruz Rotary Club. You may visit the Benito and Azzaro homepage to leave your condolence or a reflection with his family.