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Thomas John Viola

1936 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Thomas John Viola

Thomas John Viola, a loving and supportive husband, father and grandfather passed away at age 77 at his home on March 26, 2014. Tom was born in 1936 and grew up in Los Angeles with his father John, his mother Sue and his sister Marietta, each of whom preceded him in death.

Tom attended Mount Carmel High School, a Catholic all-boys high school located in Los Angeles, which closed in 1976. Tom matriculated to Loyola University in Los Angeles (now known as Loyola Marymount University) and received his B.A. degree in 1958. Tom attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles where he received his LL.B. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1962.

Tom met his wife of over 50 years, Carole, in 1960. Following their marriage in 1963, Tom and Carole began building a family life together that eventually included their seven children and seventeen grandchildren.

Tom joined the law firm of Gilbert, Kelly, Crowley & Jennett, LLP in 1963 and remained associated with the firm until his passing. Tom used his natural gifts and talents coupled with his legal background to help build and expand the firm's presence in California, particularly during his 20-year tenure as Managing Partner. Throughout his entire professional career, Tom was considered a friend to many colleagues in the legal profession, a confidant to those who sought his advice, a mentor to younger lawyers and a trusted and loyal colleague to his own law partners for nearly 50 years.

Always mindful of the importance of giving back, Tom served on many boards, often in leadership capacities, always using his talents and expertise to benefit others. His civic involvement focused on supporting educational institutions ranging from schools where his children attended, Ramona Convent Secondary School and his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University, where he served as a member of the Board of Regents for over a decade. In addition, Tom gave back to the legal community by serving on a wide range of organizations, culminating with his appointment to the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation for the State Bar of California, whose mission is to assist the California State Governor with the selection process for judicial candidates.

Notwithstanding his professional accomplishments, the real joy of his life was his family and his friends. Tom was a loyal and caring husband, a spectacular father to his children and a proud grandfather. He was a friend to many and was universally admired as a great man who displayed unwavering loyalty to those he loved and respected.

Tom is survived by his wife, Carole, his seven children: Maria (Michael) Finnegan, John (Ann), Susie (Robert) Develle, Christopher (Sandra), Michael (Jennifer), Joseph (Emily) and Robert (Marisa) as well as his seventeen grandchildren: Kevin, Brendan, Brian and Caroline Finnegan; Catherine, Thomas and Andrew Viola; Ryan, Scott, Emily and Matthew Develle; Jack and Lauren Viola; William and Benjamin Viola; Nicholas Viola; and Katie Viola; as well as his niece, Francesca Grisafi and nephew Gianluca Caetani.

A Memorial Mass celebrating Tom's life will be held on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church at 151 South Hill Avenue in Pasadena. In lieu of flowers, please consider a making donation to the Viola Family Scholarship Fund at Loyola High School of Los Angeles (www.loyolahs.edu), where Tom's sons graduated from, or to Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy (www.fsha.org), where Tom's daughters graduated. Cabot & Sons, Pasadena
Published in Pasadena Star-News on Mar. 29, 2014
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