Tommy Douglas Spor, 79, passed away on Dec 27, 2013 at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, CA. Tom was born in Norwood, CO. He and his family later moved to Manteca, CA where he went to high school and met his beautiful wife, Jeannette Valdez, with whom he had three daughters. Tom enlisted in the Army in 1956 becoming a helicopter mechanic and was stationed in Italy for a three year tour. He was also recognized as a Marksman. Afterwards, Tom became assistant manager then manager of Newberry’s and Gottschalks stores. Later, he became an entrepreneur with the opening of Tom’s Liquors in Merced and then again with MacFarland’s Ice Cream and Candy in the Merced Mall. He then went back to school at Merced College graduating in 1976 to earn his AA degree. Tom then set out for his teaching credential which he achieved in 1982 all the while working to support his family. He was hired that same year as a teacher for Merced County Schools where he was the first teacher under the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) in 1982. He taught retail sales to high school students who were preparing for future careers. Tom retired in 1995 in Modesto to be nearer to his sisters where he had many good years to relax and enjoy life. Tom loved Barbershop Harmony singing and enjoyed many years with this organization in Merced. He also loved jazz, listening to Frank Sinatra and being with his three girls. Tom was loved by all who had the honor of meeting him, and made friends very easily. He was fun-loving, always had a smile and an ear, and a gentle laugh making those around him feel loved and accepted. He will be eternally missed.
Tom is survived by his daughters; Connie Smith of Tracy, Tomi Spor of Oakdale, and Kimberly Smith of Reno, NV.
Also, survived by his sisters Betty Jo Maria of Manteca, Marge Williams of Modesto, Judy Quintal of Oakdale, and Kathy Sward of Manteca. No formal service, but instead, a gathering will be held to celebrate his life with his family.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Friday, January 10, 2014