Tom was born in Long Beach, CA to Thorvald Kornelius Rossebo of Norway and Ophelia Little Thunder of South Dakota.
After a long battle with cancer, heart, and lung issues, Tom passed away peacefully at the Long Beach VA Hospital, surrounded by family.
He was educated in Southern California schools and joined the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 18, serving two tours of duty in Viet Nam. The "Corps" was a defining factor in Tom's life; his buddies became his brothers, and together they shared a bond that was to last a lifetime. November 10th, the Marine Corps Birthday, was their special day to celebrate, reminisce, and honor their fallen brothers.
Tom's passion and "best ever" job was owning his own business, designing, building, and racing boats; "Tom-a-hawk" and "Lit Still Thunder" were his favorites. Placing or taking 1st prize at the races were the thrills he lived for, and every year it was a given you'd find him at the Catalina Ski Races. The Grand Prix was also on Tom's list of annual events…if an event was wild and crazy, he was there!
Tom vowed if he ever made it out of Viet Nam alive, "Life was going to be a party!" And, he did his best to make that happen! He had an unquenchable thirst for adventure and the great outdoors…living on the edge, forever seeking fun along the way, always gathering many friends.
As much as he enjoyed the fast life, Tom's greatest joys in life were his three daughters, and he was quite amused at how quickly his grandchildren took over his heart! Wonderful memories of outings and events with his family were many, and he loved to reminisce…vacations with his girls, AK fishing, boating, desert campouts and dune buggies, and most recently, the Canadian BC trip into the wilderness. Family was everything to him.
Tom was a FUN guy and will be remembered as a very caring and loving man, for the joy and laughter he brought into many lives, for his mischievous grin and ability to "create waves or tidal waves," and for always being everyone's "go-to" handyman!
Semper Fi, Tom…though you leave a void in our hearts, we know you are in a better place. We love and miss you, and we wish you a new adventure more inspiring than anything you could have hoped for on this earth!
Tom was preceded in death by his parents. Twice married, he is survived by three daughters: Michele Wolfe (Jim), Karyn Parker (Jim), Amy Hollister (Teddy); grandchildren: Nathan, Nicholas, and Noah Wolfe; Brit, Riley, Delani, and Presley Parker; Andi, Gussy, and Rico Hollister; sisters: Marie Hill (Rob), Anita Rinella (Steve); nieces and nephew: "Keko" Kristy Everakes (Richard), "Duzel" Greg Hill (Kristen); Sheralyn Lewis (Brian), Trisha Oberacker (Jim).
A Celebration of Life will be held at Joe Jost's Tavern, 2803 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Funeral arrangements are tentatively scheduled in October at St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church in Riverside, followed by a short service at Riverside National Cemetery where Tom will be interred with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to a charitable organization of choice honoring military veterans.
Published in Gazette Newspapers from Sep. 5 to Sep. 12, 2019.