Resident of Watsonville
December 21, 1921 - April 20, 2012
Thomas V. Avila passed away at his home in Watsonville on April 20, 2012. He was born in North Hollywood on December 21, 1921, son of Phillip and Juanita Avila. Tommy’s family moved from southern California to Tracy, California in the San Joaquin Valley. He attended New Jerusalem Elementary School and Banta Elementary School and Tracy High School. He received his diploma from PVUSD Adult Ed in 1968. He served as a Corporal in the US Army during WWII in the 779th Tank Battalion in the Philippines. Shortly after returning home from the war, he acquired a job with the Southern Pacific Railroad in Tracy. He met his loving wife, Antonia Castro, in Tracy and they married on September 8, 1946. In 1958 he moved to Watsonville, California with his family after being transferred by the Southern Pacific Railroad. He retired after 42years of service as a purchasing agent.
Tommy played baseball in the late 1940s and 1950s, pitching professionally one year for the Stockton Ports. Consequently, baseball became a big part of his family’s recreation time. He also enjoyed taking the family on road trips in their motor home to the eastern United States, Canada, and Mexico. Tommy and Toni also enjoyed several cruises together.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Antonia; children, Andrea “Andi” (Wayne) Dean of Watsonville, Rose Avila of Reno, Evelyn “Evie”(Jim) Borrego of Watsonville, Danny Avila of Salinas, Maryanne (Brian) Jones of Aptos, Tom (Virginia) Avila of Watsonville, and Suzanne Avila of Watsonville and sisters, Delia Lara of Tracy and Adeline Johnson of Turlock. Tommy was very proud of his grandchildren, Ben Dean, Marguerite (David) Haugen, Elizabeth (Oscar) Gutierrez, Craig D. Silapan, Bernadette (Jerry) Houser, Brian Borrego, Gregory (Esmeralda) Borrego, Jennifer Borrego, Anisa Abed, Jenna Abed, Audrea Avila, and Thomas Avila III. He is also survived by 14 great grandchildren. Tommy was preceded in death by his brother, Alfred Avila; sisters, Lydia Flores and Nellie Ovalle.
He was a very social, loving, caring and generous person. He was a member of the PV Rod and Gun Club, the Salsipuedes Little League, life member of the Santa Cruz Co. Sheriff’s Posse, the PV Golf Club and life member of the VFW post 1716. After 90 years, Tommy lived a very fulfilling and complete life while being surrounded by love and happiness. He is unforgettable.
Visitation will be held at Mehl’s Colonial Chapel on Thursday, April 26th 5:00-9:00 p.m. with the Rosary recited at 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady Help of Christians Valley Catholic Church on Friday, April 27th at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Pajaro Valley Memorial Park.For the complete article see the 04-24-2012 issue.
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