Tommy Simpson was born in San Pedro, California September 10th, 1948 to Robert and Loretta Simpson. He had a younger brother Teddy, and 2 younger sisters, Judy and Vicki. Throughout his childhood, he always had a strong love for cars, and the law. He always did the right thing and he loved to wax his grandfather's car for a chance to be able to take it for a spin. He traveled a lot with his family during his youth, as his father was enlisted in the Merchant Marines.
They settled back in California and Tommy graduated Banning High School in Wilmington, California in 1967 and enlisted in the US Coast Guard. He served in Vietnam and earned a USCG Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal with Two Bronze Stars and a Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device. Tommy traveled the world and enjoyed his time in the Coast Guard. He was very proud of his service, and of all our men and women who have served and still serve our country.
"After his 4 years with the USCG Tommy went on to attend Rio Hondo Police Academy where he would graduate in 1971, and began his law enforcement career with the Long Beach Marshalls Office. In 1983 he tested to become an Investigator with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office. Of course, his test score was a 99% out of 100%, and he was appointed as an Investigator. Tommy worked on some pretty amazing cases throughout his time with the DA. One of his is most notable accomplishments was early in his career when he was working with the Child Abduction Unit. He located and recovered a little girl named Kristal who was kidnapped, taken out of state and was missing for 2 years. Tommy personally flew to the little girl's location and flew her back home to her mom. It made all the local papers and the mother's reunion with Kristal was all over the news. He was also instrumental in dismantling several organized-crime rings, and worked on several high-profile investigations. He was always admired and respected by his coworkers. He continued to climb up the ranks with the District Attorney's Office until he retired in 2003 as the Head of Operations for the Investigative Bureau, and was in charge of Gil Garcetti's Dignitary Protection Team. Tommy was very proud of his career. And if you knew him at all, well, you already know that.. "
Dads personal life was just as eventful. He married right out of the coast guard in 1971 and in May of 1971 his first daughter Renic was born. May of 1974 his second daughter Airyn was born. Tommy loved his girls. Tommy worked extremely hard to provide a wonderful life for his family. He moved them to Huntington Beach in 1980. He worked hard so they could afford to live in Huntington Beach. They also loved to spend weekends on the Colorado River. Tommy's brother and sisters also had homes on the river, and the families remained very close for years. In 1995 Renic married her husband Sam and they gave him 2 amazing grandkids that Tommy absolutely adored, Sammy and Courtney.. He loved watching them grow up.. He was very proud of all their accomplishments in sports, academics and their volunteer work with HB Search and Rescue. In 2013 another grandchild was born to Airyn and Brian.. Keeley and grandpa spent countless doctor appointments together over the next 4 years, and lots of car cruises too. Tommy loved Keeley, and was so happy that Keeley loved his old cars so much.
Tommy loved his family, he loved his friends, his cars and he loved his dog Gidget. He loved the Donut Derelicts car club, he loved his buddies at Jacks Garage, and he loved all the guys with Surf City Classics. Cars were his life. He could literally fix anything, build anything, or solve any problem. He was the most loyal and dependable guy you'd ever meet. He was also very thorough. If you asked him what time it was, he would tell you how to build a clock. He was ALWAYS early and insisted that "Nobody ever waits for Tommy!"
Unfortunately, in 2015 Tommy was diagnosed with a rare lung disease and his heath began to slowly decline. In 2016 his wife of 46 years filed for divorce. . Both Renic and Airyn stood by their Dad until the very end. Shortly after the separation Tommy was diagnosed with Parkinson's and his health declined even further. He was always tough as nails, and he continued to power through his health issues with the love and help of his family. Renic helped with his finances, Airyn helped with court proceedings and doctor appointments. Tommy was never alone. Up until the very last waking moments, both girls, and his sisters were right by his side. Parkinson's ultimately made his life too challenging for him and he passed away peacefully in his bed in the presence of his amazing caretakers at Newport Senior Living on the morning of December 27th, 2020. Although he did not plan on his life ending this way, he died a very happy man, and a very proud father. His favorite quote was "It is what it is", and that it is exactly what carried him through the hard times in the end.
He is survived by his daughter Renic and her children Sammy and Courtney, and his daughter Airyn and her daughter Keeley. Tommy was a true hero, and a legend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
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