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Thomas Lee Mabry Jr.

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Thomas Lee Mabry Jr. Obituary

On behalf of our family, we would like to honor our father, Thomas Lee Mabry, Jr., who passed on the month of November 2014.

Our father was born April 18, 1936 in Helena, Arkansas. He was an only child to Thomas Lee Mabry, Sr. of Mississippi and Othel Vennetta Ward of Arkansas.

From 1937-1942 he lived in Blytheville, AR. He attended 1st grade at Sudbury Elementary School. From 1942-1944 the family lived in San Diego, CA. His father was in the U.S. Navy and his mother worked for Rohr and Convair Aircraft plants at this time. From 1944-1951 he was back in Blytheville, AR attending Sudbury Elementary and Blytheville Junior High Schools. While at Sudbury Elementary, he played right-end on Sudbury City League football team. He delivered newspapers from the Blytheville Courier News while in junior high.

Dad loved music and swimming, so in junior high and high school, he played coronet for the school bands and became a senior Red Cross lifeguard at the local city swimming pool in Blytheville. He also worked at the local Phillip's 66 Service Station and a radiator repair shop where he picked up and delivered radiators to and from auto wrecking yards, repair shops and auto parts stores.

At the age of 14 years old, he got an Arkansas driver's license! In 1951 he was back in San Diego attending junior high and high school. He played trumpet in the La Jolla High School marching and concert band. Like many boys his age in that day, he mowed yards for spending money. While in La Jolla he liked to brag that he went to school with Raquel Welch (true story!) He also knew and played with Conway Twitty on visits to a cousin's house on summer visits to Arkansas. He and Charlie Buck of Buck knives were also friends. From 1953 to 1954 he attended and graduated from Oroville High School. He played in the school band there as well.

Dad served in the Army National Guard where he completed the OCS portion of the Guard's summer camp. In 1955-1959 dad served in the U.S. Navy where he was an airman on the USS Hancock CVA-19, Airborne Air Controlman, VW-1 Early Warning Squadron, Barber's Pt. Hawaii, Control Tower Air Control man, USN Auxiliary Airfield, Brown's Field, Chula Vista, CA.

In 1959-1960 he attended and completed the Yuba Junior College with an AA degree majoring in Science-Math. He worked part-time jobs at the Oroville Mercury Register, Oroville drive-through dairy products business and the Yuba City Crystal Creamery Dairy Products Plant. Dad became a permanent fixture in Yuba City as of 1960. For the majority of those years he had the same phone number!

From 1960-1969 he was a drafting aid II. 1960-1976 he worked full-time at the Marysville Division of Highways (now Cal-Trans). Dad attended night classes at Yuba Junior College and completed real estate classes meeting the broker's license requirements. He also took several upper-division college courses at Sacramento State University. From 1976-1998 he worked at California Department of Real Estate Headquarters Office in Sacramento, CA. He became a Deputy Real Estate Commissioner II in the regulatory section assigned to the illegal subdividing investigative unit and investigation of illegal real estate licensing activity. Dad was also part of the department's education and research section. He worked his way up to becoming a managing deputy over the department's education and research section.

The list goes on as to the magnitude in which he served this department. In January of 1998 he retired with 37 1/2 years of state service. For want of something to do in his retirement years, he delivered vehicles for Dow Lewis Dealership from 2001-2011. In 2002 he was sworn into the Sutter County Sheriff's Department's Citizen Volunteer Program by Sheriff Jim Denney. Then in 2009 he decided to volunteer for the California Highway Patrol's RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) at the Sutter-Yuba Office of the CHP by Captain Jim Young and Sargent Scott Klocker.

For all who knew him, it will forever be etched in our minds the bright red 1999 Corvette that could be seen all over the Yuba-Sutter area for many years.

On behalf of your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we will miss you terribly Dad! Yuba City is going to miss its silver haired man in his red Corvette!

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Published in Appeal Democrat on Dec. 20, 2014
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