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Mr. Tom Bresee, 1921-2013
Mr. Bresee was one of our counselors a Sunny Hills High School. Rest in peace.


Thomas Frederick Bresee, 92, passed away on September 25, 2013 in Ontario, California. He lived in Banning, California and is survived by his wife Marilyn. He is also survived by his two daughters and son-in-laws, Tamara and James Feener of Chino, California, and Teri and Steven Hoblick of Fullerton, California. He leaves behind four grandchildren, Carie Cruz, Courtney Hoblick McKenna, Caitlin Curtis and Thomas James Feener, and four great-grandchildren, Chloe McKenna, Pressley Cruz, Delaney Cruz and Mallory McKenna. Tom is also survived by Marilyn's three daughters, Beverly, Debra, Susan and their families.

Tom "Coach" Bresee was born in Odessa, Washington to Frederick and Marian Bresee on June 16, 1921. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps as a drill sergeant during World War II, and earned a pilot's license during his service.

After being discharged in 1946, Tom attended Gonzaga University, Pepperdine University, and earned a Master's Degree in Counseling from USC. Tom was married to Ode Andersen (deceased) and they raised their family in several southern California cities.

He was a teacher and football coach at La Habra High School (with an undefeated season in 1957). He later worked as a counselor and the night school principal at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton.

Tom worked as the operations manager at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park after an early retirement from FUSD, as well as Red's Leather Shop. After full retirement, he moved to Sun Lakes Country Club and after the death of his wife Ode Bresee, met and married Marilyn Litka.

To say that Tom was loved by many would be an understatement; he deeply touched the hearts of all who knew him. From every child that watched with wonder as he magically pulled a quarter from their ear, every "Coach" and "Matilda" that smiled because of his humor, and every person that admired his selflessness, kindness and beautiful soul-he will be dearly missed.

Rest in peace, Tom. Services will be held on Tuesday, October 1 at Weaver Mortuary in Beaumont at 3:00 pm. Reception to follow at Sun Lakes Country Club at 4:00 pm.

Published in Orange County Register on October 1, 2013


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Lora (Lolly) Beaman Summerwill--- Iowa on October 7, 2013 at 11:48 AM said:

Tom Bresee was one of my favorite people at SHHS along with Topper Smith ( who would name their kid Topper)??
Mr. Bresee helped me though some of the difficult years of growing up and relocating from a small Iowa class of 25 to a High School of 2,000+ where the passing halls were " outside ". I was one of the lucky kids that got to enjoy Europe with Mr. Bresee. My mother a Wilshire Junior High School teacher believed that I needed "life experiences" before going to college so my graduation present was a 6 week trip to Europe with Mr. Bresee and 16 other kids that also needed life experiences. I still have the canceled check that mother wrote to send me on the trip $2,100. with two hundred dollars in spending money. We were 16 kids that were turned loose on Amsterdam, England, France, Italy , Rome, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and East and West Berlin. We partied all night and slept in the bus during the day. Mr Bresee' method of keeping us out of trouble was to turn us loose but if we misbehaved we had to write letters to our parents explaining what we had done and then Mr Bresee would hold the letters over our heads and only send them if we got into further trouble. I never had to write a letter but some of the classmates you know did. Some of our classmates that went were Geri Sotomayer, Tom Stuhley, Gail Tavan, Kathy Muckenthaler, Steve Riddle, Marsha Peterson,,,,, and that is all I can remember, Steve , Tom help me complete that list...... Oh, I did write one paper in college about the Berlin Wall.... after all I could not let my mother's monies go to waste.
Tom Stuhley, '65 on October 1, 2013 at 7:03 PM said:

Tom was one of my father's best friends and our families spent a great deal of time together. I still visit with his daughter Teri every time I travel to Calif.

Tom organized two European tour groups (Kathy Muckenthaler, Steve Riddle, Janet Myers, Lora Beaman, Geri Sotomayor and more) summers of my sophomore and junior years. We were all so fortunate to experience Europe 17 years after World War II.

Last week I returned from Southern France, and was able to stay at the same hotel on the coast as our group did 50 years ago. What memories this announcement of his death has had on me this evening.

My last trip to Calif. Tom and I had lunch at one of his favorite eateries in Banning. He looked great and was constantly talking about Sunny Hills High School and his many friends.

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