Thomas Woodward Smith (Smitty), 83, died peacefully at his home in Los Altos, CA on November 28th, 2020 surrounded by his wife and loved ones. Born in St Louis, MO on May 31, 1937 to Thomas B. Smith and Florence Mae Woodward, his family lived in Webster Groves, MO until they moved to Burlingame, CA in 1950.
Tom graduated from Burlingame High School and San Francisco State University, served two years in the U.S. Army, and then traveled in Europe before starting a career in engineering with IBM. He met his future wife Marjorie L. Ayers in Stuttgart, Germany where she was working for the American Red Cross. Tom and Marge married in 1965 and had children Kathryn, Jennifer, and Mark. They have 3 grandchildren, Connor, Nicholas, and Zoe. Tom was a loving, dedicated, and faithful husband, and a loyal, compassionate, accepting friend and father.
Retiring from IBM after 33 years, Tom became a teacher at St Francis High School in Mountain View, CA, teaching computer literacy and mentoring the robotics club. A licensed ham radio operator, he was active in the Southern Peninsula Emergency Communication Service and was the Emergency Coordinator for Los Altos for many years.
Smitty's life was defined by service to others—whether standing watch over an Army train in El Paso, teaching at St Francis, operating net control at the Festival of Lights parade in Los Altos, serving in lay ministry at St William's Catholic Church, mentoring and sponsoring others, participating in prison ministry, or just being an ever-present helping hand and friendly ear for those in need. We will miss his tireless enthusiasm for American railroading, his detailed interest in electronics of all sorts, and his willing indulgence of little kids at Starbucks who wondered if the big man with the white beard and red polo shirt was actually Santa Claus.
Tom's family will host a Zoom-based celebration of life for their friends and family. In lieu of flowers, you can donate to Tom's favorite charity, run by his dear friends from Los Altos, Truck of Love at http://www.truckoflove.org.