Born in Coldwater Michigan on May 10, 1948, Thomas B. Smith passed away on September 3, 2019 at Orange Coast Memorial Hospital in Fountain Valley, CA. Tom was the 2nd child of Floyd and Shirley Smith and, along with his older sister and younger brother, the family moved to Garden Grove California in 1962. He graduated from La Quinta High School in 1966. He was drafted in April 1968 and served in the US Army in Germany for 2 years.
Upon his return, he joined his father and brother at the family business, Smith & Sons Union 76 in Costa Mesa. In 1986, the family business closed and Tom began working with his good friend Jerry LaManna at Jerry's auto repair business. In the early 1990's he moved to Theodore Robins Ford in Costa Mesa and worked as a heavy line mechanic. He continued there until 2015 when his back finally got the best of him.
Tom lived in Costa Mesa his entire adult life. In 1977 he met his life partner, Kathy. Sadly she passed away in 1998. He was 'Dad' to her son Jasen. Tom and Jasen along with Jasen's wife Nicki shared a home until Tom's death.
In May 2019 Tom was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The initial treatment was promising but in July he developed sepsis and was hospitalized. He later developed pneumonia and passed away September 3rd.
Tom was happiest when he was working on cars. He developed many life-long friendships in the auto racing world as well as the local community. On October 20th a celebration of life was held and many of those friends gathered to honor his memory.
Tom was survived by son Jasen (Nicki) Smith, sister Carolynn Egan of Riverside, CA, brother Michael Smith(Karen) of Winchester, CA. and 5 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Floyd, his mother Shirley, his niece Janaha (Luke) Hartung and nephew Michael (Kazumi) Coil. His ashes will be scattered at a future date.
Tom will be remembered for his gentle presence, his love for his family and his devotion to his friends. His family wishes to thank the nurses and staff at Orange Coast Memorial Hospital for their care and compassion during his final days.
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