Tom was born in Long Beach on the 21st of August, 1948. Tom was the third child of Elmer DeLano and Maree O'Meara. He is survived by two older sisters, Ellie and Kathy and three younger siblings, Paul, Phillip and Sara. The family moved from Long Beach to Minnesota shortly after Tom was born.
Tom grew up in Minnesota where he ice skated, and found a love for cars. This love persisted through his entire life as he continued creating custom hot rods, restoring cars and kept a constant flow of creative automotive projects in the works.
In 1964 when Tom was about 16 he moved from Minnesota to California with most of his family.
In California, Tom met Donna on her 17th birthday, at her birthday party. About a year later in 1966 they were married in Utah.
In 1968 Tom joined the Navy during the Vietnam war. He attended boot camp in San Diego and traveled to Connecticut for submarine training. He was stationed in Hawaii for about a year and then spent time in Vietnam on a mechanics boat that serviced river patrol boats. Eventually he returned to Long Beach, CA to finish his service in 1972. Here he met one of his first life long friends Dan Palmer.
When Tom finished his time in the Navy he and Donna bought a house in Rosamond and settled in. In 1974 their son Michael Thomas was born. Tom did fiberglass work on gliders at the Mojave airport. Then took a job at Lockheed in Palmdale to work on the L1011. Here at Lockheed Tom met another life long friend, Kent Troxel.
Tom and Donna moved to San Jose for about a year to work at Lockheed and also went back to school. When the position at Lockheed ended they moved back to Rosamond where they bought their current property. In January1977 Tom took a job at Borax mining company and worked there for almost 30 years. During his time at Borax Tom headed up the “Truck Shop” and coordinated a team that maintained the massive trucks and mining equipment needed to operate the mine.
In 1978 their second child Michelle Maree was born and the family was complete.
During these years Tom enjoyed road trips with his family, touring most of the United States, built many project cars, including two custom kit cars, muscle cars, trucks and motorcycles. He enjoyed spending time with his extended family. He was also the resident mechanic and most of the family would visit at one time or another for automotive or mechanical help. Tom was very giving and generous of his time.
Tom and Donna planned and created their dream property, landscaping and building a custom house in 1996. The family dubbed it the “Twin Lion’s Resort” and it became a central hub for the west coast family where many family reunions and birthdays were celebrated.
In 2001 their first grandchild was born, Donovan Michael and in 2006 their second grandchild Azlan Bailey came onto the scene. Tom was especially good with kids whether they were nieces and nephews or children and grandchildren. He enjoyed joking and playing with them and loved buying toys and playing video games with them. Especially Mario Kart.
Tom’s heart was broken when his daughter Michelle passed away in 2015. From her passing, her son Azlan stayed with and was raised by his Nana and Papa, Tom and Donna.
In retirement Tom enjoyed watching classic movies, spending time with his grandchildren, working on automotive projects, shopping for houses and discussing politics.
Tom had a legendary work ethic, he was a gifted mechanic and problem solver. He lived his life in generosity and integrity. Tom made fast friends and will be missed by his family and friends.