Tom Hinds, 80, of Ventura passed away peacefully at his home on Dec. 9, 2012 after a battle with cancer.
Tom was born to Leonard and Blanch Hinds in Globe, Ariz. on Jan. 22, 1932. He lived his early years in the small Arizona towns of Globe and Tonto Basin. They lived a modest life with Tom working full time at an early age. He took his first two years of high school by correspondence, allowing him to work on local ranches during school hours. Early in life he worked as a Ranch Hand, Professional Rodeo Cowboy, and as a member of a road crew before joining the Navy. As a member of the road crew he worked on the road that now goes to and around the Grand Canyon. Tom had always wanted to travel and see the world, and saw the Navy as an opportunity to do this. While in the Navy, Tom was able to visit many countries including Korea, Viet Nam, and Japan. He was a prolific photographer and took many pictures of all of the locations that he was able to visit. Tom made many lifelong friends in the Navy aboard the USS Montague and in recent years he had enjoyed attending the ship reunions. While in the Navy, Tom met his first wife, Jean.
After leaving the Navy, Tom attended the University of Arizona on the G.I. Bill and received a degree in Civil Engineering. At the University of Arizona, Tom was a member of the menís fast-pitch softball team. He graduated from college with honors in 1959, becoming the first member of his family to receive a college degree.
After College Tom worked at Shell Oil in Long Beach until accepting a job with McDonnell Douglas near Sacramento where, among other projects, he worked on the early Apollo Rocket programs. Tom eventually accepted a job at Port Hueneme with the Construction Battalion in 1965, bringing his family to Ventura County for the first time Ė where he would remain for the rest of his life. Tom continued to work at Port Hueneme until his retirement in 1988. During this time Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Jean. He also met and married his current wife, Ellen.
After his retirement Tom enjoyed golf and travel. He would typically golf 2 or 3 times a week and was a member of the local Menís Golf Clubs. Through his 70ís, he continued to score under his age and shot 3 hole-in-ones, the first coming at age 58. He was the Buenaventura Golf Course Seniors Club Champion several times. Tom and Ellen made many cross country road trips, seeing interesting sites every day. He loved meeting new people on these trips and always had stories about them. They also enjoyed trips to Europe and cruises.
Tom was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean, and sister, Pud. He is survived by his wife Ellen; son, Tom; granddaughter, Morgan; and grandson, Tommy. He was dearly loved and will be deeply missed. He was a friend to everyone that he ever met and will be remembered fondly by his friends and family for generations.
There will be a get together to celebrate his life at his home Dec. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society