Thomas Mondrogon obituary (1938-2020) – Petaluma, CA
Thomas “Tom” Mondrogon
August 17, 1938 – August 9, 2020
On August 9, 2020, our beloved Tom fled this life and his long battle with cancer. Tom has lived an extraordinary life. Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Tom J. Mondrogon and Lena R. Howe. After serving a sentence in the United States Navy, Tom married Jill Cerwin. He opened a Volkswagen repair shop – The Bug Shop – in Novato, California. Tom and Jill had two children: daughter Lisa Renee and son Thomas, Jr. After decades at his popular Bug Shop, Tom’s thoughts returned to the sea. He sold the Bug Shop and a small farm in Sevastopol and, at the age of 40, bought a 37-foot sailboat and sailed with a small crew to Hawaii and beyond to Fiji. Luckily, the yacht sank on an unknown reef off the coast of Fiji and local villagers came to the rescue. During his time in Fiji, Tom developed many close friendships, especially with the Garnet family. Tom mourned the loss of his sailboat – the Delaware Dolly. Tom’s marriage came to an end shortly after returning to the Bay Area, starting a new chapter in his life. Never one to sit around for long, he met his second wife and life partner, Kathleen Divers, while hiking with a friend. They settled down together and bought a small cottage in Petaluma. A repairman-superior, they devoted their energy to creating a beautiful house and a beautiful garden where wildlife was welcome and encouraged. Tom’s next dream started with buying a riverside property in the northwest corner of Yaak, MT, where Tom designed and built a beautiful log cabin. Tom and Kathleen have spent many summers here exploring the landscape and its rich flora and fauna. Picking wild mushrooms was a frequent fun adventure, and cooking became a favorite pastime. Tom was a man of many talents. He was a skilled artist, musician, golfer, skier, gardener and carpenter. Tom leaves behind his two sisters, Rosella and Ramona, his brother Theodore (Teddy), his daughter Lisa Renee, his son Tommy Jr. and his wife Kathleen. Tom also leaves behind his grandson Oliver, his son-in-law Brian Garland, his son-in-law Seth Goddard, as well as several nieces and nephews. Your vibrant smile will be missed and you will leave an empty space, but we can imagine you standing there with a shovel ready to fill it. Tom will also be missed by his European Auto friends in San Rafael, his friends Novato Druid, his extended Scottish family in Scotland. Another thank you to our dear friends and neighbors in Petaluma, as well as to the Hospice in Petaluma. A celebration of Tom’s life will take place in the near future.
Posted in Press Democrat on May 30, 2021.