Tribute to Thomas Opitzby Representative Ken Calvert
Posted on 2013-01-04
in the house of representatives
Friday, January 4, 2013
Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor and pay tribute to a
dear friend of mine, Thomas Opitz. Tom passed away on Saturday,
December 29, 2012. A long time resident of Corona, he was a pillar of
the community and he will be deeply missed.
Tom was born November 21, 1922, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the son of Raymond J. and Susan (Singer) Opitz. He served his country honorably in World War II in the United States Army Air Corps from 1944-1946 and received several medals in recognition of his military achievements. He was a member of the Navy League, the Elks and the Confederate Air Force.
Tom worked as a self employed contractor, interior designer and artist of restaurants. Over the years, the Opitz family and the Calvert family have had a close relationship, both personal and professional, and Tom was a great partner and friend. He and his family helped our family build the Corona Bowl, the Encore, Lord Calvert's Jolly Fox and the Jolly Fox Pub & Grille. Millions of Californians have enjoyed a family dinner in restaurants designed by Tom, as he built, designed, and painted over 400.
Tom was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great- grandfather. He is survived by his sons Craig, Thomas, Mark and daughter Christal Trusty; 11 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren. On Monday, January 7, 2013, a memorial service honoring Tom's extraordinary life will be held at Thomas Miller Mortuary in Corona. He will be interred at the Riverside National Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest with his wife of 58 years, Ruth Opitz.
Tom will always be remembered for his devotion to family, caring nature and selfless giving. Tom demonstrated an incredible work ethic, generosity, contributions to the community and love of family. These achievements and qualities are a testament to a life lived well and a legacy that will continue. I extend my condolences to Tom's family and friends. Although Tom may be gone, the light and goodness he brought to the world remain and will never be forgotten.