Dec.21, 1921 - April
Published in Santa
Cruz Sentinel from April 24 to April 26, 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
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