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TOM JONDAHL, retired Sheriff of Mendocino County, died on September 22 after a valiant battle against lung cancer over a period of nearly two years.

Tom was a man of integrity; a great fun-lover (and practical joker), but also a serious and conscientious man. He was a proud law enforcement professional for 32 years, serving as police chief in three California communities before being elected Sheriff of Mendocino County in 1974.

After his retirement from Mendocino County in 1982, he traveled extensively in the U.S. and also to Korea, India, South Africa and Norway in recent years. He treasured his visits to South Africa and seeing the beauty of the animals in the African bush and he was thrilled to visit the town of Jondal, Norway, from where the first Jondahls originated and where some family members remain.

Tom lived in Sandpoint, Idaho, for most of the past 15 years. He and his wife of five years, Joanie, relocated to Green Valley, Arizona, recently, giving up the pristine beauty of northern Idaho, but gaining the sunshine and relaxed living of the desert. Tom was a 30-year member of the Elks Club.

Tom is survived by Joanie, who was courageously by his side during his final years. He was preceded in death by his late wife of 46 years, Becky.

He leaves behind daughter Terri Jondahl and her husband Richard Drye, of Buford, Georgia; daughter Tammi Weselsky and her husband Bruce Weselsky of Ukiah, Calif.; son Thomas Edward Jondahl and his wife Sandra, of Austin, Texas; stepdaughter Sherri Gravier and her husband Bruce of Laytonville, Calif.; grandchildren Alisa Weselsky Arrington and her husband Bryan Arrington of Ukiah (and their two children Ty Bruce and Cadence Rebecca), Thomas Blake Jondahl of Austin; and step-grandchild Kevin Gravier and his wife Amanda, along with sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews around the country.

A Memorial Service will be held at later date. Hospice played a very valuable role in Tom’s final days. The family invites those interested to consider supporting their local hospice in his memory.

A memorial website has been established on The family invites to share their stories about Tom, so that they can treasured with memories.

Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Sept. 28, 2012
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