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Thomas L. Snelgrove

November 20, 2012



Thomas L. Snelgrove



Thomas L. Snelgrove was born Sept. 8, 1923 in Redondo Beach, and passed away Oct. 22, 2012 in Chino Hills where he was undergoing treatment for cancer. He was the fourth of five children born to C. Earl Snelgrove and Hazel Gray Snelgrove from Salt Lake City, Utah. Tom grew up in Hermosa Beach and how he loved the beach. He played beach volley and loved to go body surfing. He enjoyed nature, fishing, hiking and birding.

After graduating from Redondo Union High School in 1941, he attended Compton College and Loyola University focusing on math and biological science classes to become a forest ranger. Tom was invited to work for his uncle, the founder of Snelgrove’s Distinctive Ice Cream, in Salt Lake City. It was there that he met the love of his life Ruth Alice Caffall.

Tom enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and went to Hy Wycombe, England where he served in the 8th Air Force, First Photo Technical Squadron. After two years Tom volunteered to join the infantry. He entered the 354th Infantry, Company F, 89th Infantry Division. He spent six months fighting and pushing through France, Luxembourg, and Belgium into Germany beyond the Rhine River. He was hit by mortar shell deep into Germany which ended his tour.

Tom and Ruth were married in Manhattan Beach, Jan. 4, 1946. They made their home in the South Bay area where Tom worked for Safeway, the U.S. Post Office and he also co-owned a Standard Oil Station with his brother in Hermosa Beach. In 1955 Tom starting working for Standard Oil in El Segundo where he worked for more than 30 years.

Upon retiring from Chevron (formerly Standard Oil), Tom and Ruth moved to Big Pine. Tom had always loved the Eastern Sierra. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He had a great sense of humor. He loved to laugh and always had a smile on his face. Tom’s legacy will always be his never-ending love for his wife Ruth. They were always together, hand in hand, inseparable.

Tom is survived by his devout and loving wife of 66 years, Ruth; two sisters; Carrie Stine of Kalaheo, Kauai, Hawaii and Joy Rasey of Arroyo Grande; his children, Gary T. Snelgrove, Susan Snelgrove-Gutierrez and Mark S. Snelgrove; 12 grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

A Memorial Service for Tom will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Bishop Ward, 725 Keough St., Bishop, CA 93514. 

In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Thomas L. Snelgrove may be sent to the Gary Sinise Foundation, P.O. Box 50008, Studio City, CA 91614.

Contact Stacy Taylor at (818) 432-8960 or visit the Gary Sinise Foundation online Giving at

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