Joseph Thomas "Tom" Padilla/Miller | SierraSun.com

Joseph Thomas "Tom" Padilla/Miller

Joseph Thomas “Tom” Padilla/Miller died Oct. 14, 2007, in Truckee at the age of 55.

Tom was born Sept. 23, 1952, in Fresno, Calif., and raised there until the family moved to San Bruno, Calif., in 1962, where he attended schools and graduated from San Bruno High.

Tom then attended several Bay Area colleges, graduating from the University of San Francisco after specializing in organization and planning.

Tom worked full time while attending college. A specialist in the transportation Industry, he managed and directed school bus operations for several private contractors and school bus districts in the Bay Area, Santa Rosa, Concord, Fresno and San Jose before moving to Truckee. His assignments included setting up and directing Laidlaw’s Fresno Operations.

He also served as Deputy Director of Santa Clara County Unified School District’s Special Education Department.

Tom also worked with other school districts, and recently was Director of Transportation Services for the Tahoe Unified School District. Most recently he was a volunteer with the Truckee Police Department.

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All his life Tom dedicated his time and life working with children … especially his “special” children, physically handicapped students. While working with Associated and Laidlaw Transportation, he took his vacation time, used his employer’s buses, and helped run camping programs for his special kids.

He will be remembered as a wonderful, happy individual who was always willing to help someone, in work and in everyday living. He was an intelligent and giving human being who will be definitely missed.

Tom is survived by a daughter, Torianne Miller (Oceanside); his mother, Wanda I Padilla-Nowell, stepfather Dale Nowell (Grass Valley), and father Joseph T. Padilla of Sunnyvale, Calif.; uncles Raymon O. Padilla (Elk Grove), Manuel Padilla (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.), and Marshall Padilla (Madera, Calif.); an aunt, Peggy Schuetz (Auburn); and many cousins, nephews and nieces.

Tom also leaves his companion, Kelly Bekker, and her children.

At this time there will be no formal funeral. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct.27, at the First Baptist Church, 1866 Ridge Road in Grass Valley (Phone 530-273-7301).

The family requests that memorial donations be given to the Special Olympics.