Tom Mowry was 98 years young when he passed away December 4, 2012, from complications from a fall the day before. Tom was born April 12, 1914, in Alliance, Ohio, to John Logan Mowry and Eleanor Montgomery Huston Mowry. Tom led a rich, fulfilling life and has always been an inspiration to all those who knew him. His wonderful attitude made him loved in the community. He was a member of La Jolla Presbyterian Church.|
Tom grew up in Alliance. He graduated from High School in 1931 and attended Mt. Union College in Alliance. He was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity and graduated from Mt. Union in 1935. Over the years, the Mt. Union football teams and their excellence were a source of interest to Tom.
He met his wife, Martha, pre-deceased in 2003, when he purchased her father's insurance agency and moved to Mansfield. They were married in 1942 and a month later he was drafted into the U.S. Army as a Private earning $21.00 a month. Four months later he was sent to Officer Candidate School at Fort Knox, KY, and 90 days later he was a 2nd Lieutenant. They called these men "90 Day Wonders". Martha was able to join Tom in the various places where he was stationed, until 1944 when he was sent overseas with the 12th Armored Division, serving in France defending the Maginot Line. Martha returned to live in Ohio with her sister and mother and their first child, Faith, was born in 1944. Faith was so named because Martha had "Faith" that Tom would return from W.W.II safely – as he did. Tom returned home in 1945 as a Major. His children later affectionately called him "The Major". Two sons were born, John in 1947 and Jeff in 1950. The family lived in Mansfield, Ohio, with Tom running his insurance company. As a side occupation, Tom and Martha built and opened the Motor Hotel in 1949, which they sold in 1955. He included the whole family in this adventure, hiring his kids to help out with the mowing of the lawn, planting flowers and weeding! Martha painted watercolors for each of the rooms and often worked at the switchboard.
A road trip west for the family in 1956 was a turning point in their lives. An Ohio friend said to be sure to visit La Jolla on the trip, as it was a beautiful spot. The family did, staying for a week in a cottage at the Shell Beach Apartments. After the return home, Tom and Martha told the family that they would be living in La Jolla for nine months, to see what it was like!
During the nine months, Tom sold real estate from the S.M. Simmonds office located in The Colonial Hotel. The nine months stretched into the rest of their lives and could not have made them happier. He soon was a partner with Willis Allen and they formed The Allen Insurance Agency.
Tom was always the most positive, inspirational and loving person. He never judged anyone for any reason. His walks with his lovely wife Martha were legendary in the La Jolla community. Martha passed the cooking torch to Tom around 1990 and he gladly accepted. He continued to bake his whole wheat bread from scratch. Tom and his pals enjoyed their weekly golf game. At 98 he still played golf!
Tom cared for Martha throughout most of her Alzheimer's, never complaining and always helping her remember things. During this sad time his bravery, strength and love will always be remembered and admired.
He is survived by his three children, Faith (Norm) of State College, PA, John of La Jolla, CA, and Jeff (Ann) of Morro Bay, CA; six grandchildren, Max (Robyn) Clifford, Alex Clifford, Martha Clifford, Whitney (Justin) Bush, Tom Mowry and Colburn Mowry; and four great-grandchildren, Nina, Molly and Tom Clifford and Ryder Mowry. A brother, John, and a sister, Ann, pre-deceased him.
Tom will be sorely missed but long remembered by his family. He was a man of dignity and his word was gold.
Published in La Jolla Light on Dec. 13, 2012