Tom (Thomas Robert) Hollingshead died on Sept. 3, 2019 at Banner University Hospital with his family by his side. He had been recently diagnosed with cancer.
Family members regarded Tom as a beacon of courageous self-examination, someone working through prayer, meditation, and fellowship to lift himself out of patterns of suffering in order to live a life of love, kindness, and understanding. Along his life’s journey, many of the greatest blessings to him and his family sprang from the seeds of his spiritual fellowship.
Tom was a police officer with LAPD from 1963 to 1988. Early duties ranged from crowd control at the Hollywood Bowl when The Beatles first toured the U.S. (he complained about the screaming girls trying to run into the Bowl from the hills) to deployment during the 1965 riots in Watts. He was a member of the force’s elite Metro Division, spent time as a detective before deciding to return to a uniformed post, and retired with the rank of sergeant. He loved his job as a cop but when he retired he said he never wanted to tell anyone what to do ever again.
Born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Tom grew up in Los Angeles, spending summers with his grandparents in Cave Junction, and later Grants Pass, Oregon. A celebrated swimmer and diver, Tom graduated from Reseda High School and Valley College before serving in the Marines and training at the Los Angeles Police Academy.
Tom is survived by his beloved dog Blue; daughter Megan Hollingshead Coker, ex-wife Karen Tweed Hollingshead, son-in-law Drake Coker, and granddaughters Beatrix & Vesper Coker, all of Los Angeles; as well as sister, Barbara Nelson and niece Debra Podjaske of Grayling, Michigan.
A memorial will take place in Green Valley on Thursday, Sept. 19. Details TBA.