Thomas F McBride
On June 10, 2022, Thomas F McBride closed his eyes, took his last breath, and went into heavenly slumber. Tom was born in Los Angeles on August 6, 1938, to John Harold and Ruth Carolyn (LaFontaine) McBride. Tom was a good-natured man, who could be counted on for a ready smile and a quick, humorous quip. He was caring, honest, sincere, and immensely creative and talented.
Tom attended schools in the Los Angeles area, going on to graduate from Santa Monica High, where he was the student body president, head yell leader, and winning sprinter in his class size. He also took the lead in the senior play, Death Takes a Holiday, which he later commented “was a terrible old play.” He attended Santa Monica City College, Cal State Northridge, and Chouinard Art Institute now known as CalArts.
Tom was one of Malibu’s regulars, during the Gidget days. He lived on Las Flores Beach in Malibu. He enjoyed the much simpler life of those days, with the “sand and surf as his front yard and 10′ longboards. Nothing better.” His surfing friend, Dutch Vandervoort said, “In the water (Tom) had a smooth, easy style on his board. In 1959, while he was in Hawaii, Tom had the guts to take off deep in the pocket at Makaha, or Sunset Beach…he had the skill and judgment to successfully make these 10’-12’- plus waves, though he never bragged about his exploits. Tom was humble and full of joy just to surf those Hawaiian waves.” (For more stories about Tom’s surfing days, visit his website: atomicbride.com.)
Tom was previously married to Carmen Dragon, namesake of the famous American Conductor. They had one daughter, Kelly Marie. Tom moved from the LA area to Hawaii, then on to Santa Barbara, finally settling in Carpinteria.
On February 2, 2002 at 2:22 pm, in the beautiful Santa Barbara Courthouse sunken gardens, Tom married the love of his life, Janette “Jan” Walsh. Tom and Jan enjoyed life, taking walks on the Carpinteria State Beach and the Carpinteria Bluffs, attending art galleries and art exhibits, theatre, and musical events, including those sponsored by the Santa Barbara Jazz Society, the board on which Jan has served as its executive secretary. The couple enjoyed traveling, visiting family and friends afar, as well as venturing north as often as possible to their favorite spots, Cambria and Big Sur.
Tom has had a varied professional career. Tom worked for the Doheny Estate, which is now a park in Beverly Hills; building superintendent for the American Film Institute in Los Angeles; and an assistant to longtime friends, Bill and Cathy Royer, who owned and operated Imports East in Los Angeles. For the past 30 plus years, Tom has been employed as the property manager of Rancho Granada Mobile Home Park, a senior community, where he resided with his wife, Jan. Tom sat on the rent control board in Carpinteria, saying “it was my way of protecting senior citizens from overzealous property owners.”
Ever the artist, Tom was always creating. His abstract paintings and sculptures are owned by several well-known individuals, notwithstanding those owned and revered by family and friends. In addition to Tom’s artistic talents as a painter and sculptor, Tom also had a passion for creating musical compositions. He collaborated with numerous local and out-of-town musicians, the list of which includes Dick and Arlene Dunlap, Joseph Woodard, Jim Connelly, Jeff Kaiser, Fred Olivas, and others. In his younger days, Tom had fun playing the saxophone with Alan Goulding and Doug Dragon, brother of Daryl Dragon, aka Captain, as in Captain and Tennille, a musical duo known for many pop songs, including Muskrat Love and Love Will Keep Us Together.
Although Tom goes on to explore new frontiers in the heavenly realms of eternity, the void of his absence will never be filled in some of us, most especially within the heart of his loving wife, Jan. Pay attention to those who are present in your life. “Love one another, as I have loved you,” said Jesus. (John 13:34) Remember, Time is always of the essence. After all, death doesn’t always take a holiday.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Ruth McBride, his loving sister, Margaret Pickering, and nephew Scott McBride. He leaves behind his devoted and loving wife, Jan McBride and her daughter, Angela Archer; his daughter, Kelly Marie McBride; grandsons Sean Arbaut (Shelby), and Dylan Arbaut; his beloved brother, Robert McBride (Lois); nieces Suzanne Solberg (Dr. Dave), children, Patrick and Sandra; Barbara Hurlburt (Mark), son, Paul (Krys); nieces by marriage: Lynn McBride (Craig), sons Brandon and Dalton, and Shaina Riker (Matt), son, Nolan; nephews, Trevor Pickering (Cris), daughter, Nora; Brooks Pickering (Janna), children Sam and Halle, and Brooks’ former spouse, Susan Pickering, and their children, Quinn and Reed; former son-in-law, Charles Arbaut; and Tom’s in-laws, Jerry and Betty Barb, and Carol Clark. Tom also leaves behind numerous friends, especially his longtime friends, Bill Brice, Dick and Arlene Dunlap, Bart Dickens and Gilbert Hall.
Thanks go to the following: Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital ER and Tom’s medical team, including Drs. Nguyen, Yim, Vowels, Elder, Golan, Diener and Lash, but most especially Morgana Jacques, RN and case manager, Kim Pointer. Special thanks also go to Daniel Greenwald, M.D., his P.A., Amanda Sweet, and the staff of UCLA Cancer Center. Gratitude to Tom’s longtime treating physician, Alex Koper, M.D., who, like Dr. Greenwald, cares a great deal about his patients, along with his staff at Sansum Clinic. Thank you to Andrew Ross, M.D. and his staff. Thank you goes to the following: the ever kind-hearted David Moorman, and the VNA Loan Closet for providing medical equipment; VNA Hospice nursing and other staff members for helping Jan and the family through the rough last several days as Tom transitioned; Central Coast Home Health, especially Tom’s nurse, Christina Dugre; who always brought a smile; and special thanks to Shaina Riker, who lovingly assisted in the home care of her Uncle Tom.
A celebration of life to honor Tom will be held in the near future. Please consider a donation of any size to the American Cancer Society, or a charity of your choice.