Passing of Tom Kruzic


The sun set on Thomas Wayne Kruzic on October 17, 2016, in his home in Clovis, California at the age of 76.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Hall on December 3, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Veterans Room. 808 4th St., Clovis, California, 93612

Tom was born to John and Verna Davis Kruzic on October 14, 1940, in Fresno, California. Raised in Clovis, he attended Clovis High School where he built wonderful relationships and excelled in sports. Tom participated in the Little League World Series and later in the West Coast Relays.

Tom served in the Army and Reserves for about 6 years before stumbling into his 30 year career with California Department of Forestry. His first assignment was in Madera in 1965 where he moved with his first wife and started his family. Some favorite memories originated at his little house on the river and the fire station in Ripperdan. After years in Madera County he moved to Mendocino County where he would finish out his career. This would be his home from 1988 to 2001. Over the years he spent his spare time diving; woodworking; gardening; antique collecting; and stuffing dead things (taxidermy). Tom was an avid duck hunter and mentor to many. Tiro Alto Duck Club, his home away from home, where the strongest of bonds were built. Tom and I married in 2001 in Fort Bragg and moved to Clovis shortly after. Papa Tom loved his family. Our children lit up his life and he was adored. A few years ago I was told of my home, “it’s boring here without papa!” I agree Braden! Tom had a great sense of humor and teased mercilessly. He always had time for children. Best papa ever!

The list of people Tom leaves behind is long. His wife Linda (Skipper) Kruzic, his brothers Robert Kruzic, Mike (and wife Pat) Kruzic, Jack Kruzic. Daughters: Kristi Parker, Kari Gangbin and their mother Bonnie Kindred Wright. Stepchildren: Marco Santeufemia, Angela Smith and Mia Grant. Sons in law: Josh Parker; Derick Gangbin; Donny Smith; Chad Grant. Grandchildren: Kyle Kochen; Bailie Santeufemia; Eli Parker; Kira and Dustin Gangbin; Braden and Brooke Santeufemia; Hailey, Kloey and Clayton Smith; Taylor and Connor Grant. Cousins, nieces and nephews, in-laws and out laws, great friends and children he impacted along the way. His babies know who they are. Last but not least his best friend and hunting partner Koda.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, John and Verna Kruzic, his beloved dogs, Koko and Koko II.

We’d like to express our appreciation to the wonderful people of Hines Hospice for outstanding care and support. Thank you to the firefighters and EMT’s who helped us in the middle of the night. Tom was treated with dignity and respect to the end.

Tom, you live in our hearts and will forever be our hero.

Lovingly, Linda

Donations may be made to Hinds Hospice.

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