Lee Thomas Holcomb (Tom), 53 years old, raised in the Kern River Valley, passed away on May 9, 2019. He is preceded in death by his father, William H. Merrell, and his mother, Jeanne L. Merrell. Tom was a loving husband, father and friend.
Those who knew Tom knew how much he cared for his family, as well as those he didn’t even know. Tom made many relationships here in the valley, and over the years made several lasting friendships.
While attending Kern Valley High School, Tom participated in the Explorer program, which was the beginning of his journey in becoming what would one day name him paramedic of the year in all of Kern County.
Tom moved from the valley for a period where he continued his career in emergency medical services, starting with Lifefleet in Orange County and moving on to South Lake Tahoe Ambulance. With his family and heart belonging here, it wouldn’t be long before he returned to the Kern River Valley to continue his dream of helping his community.
His family and friends knew him to have a permanent smile, a contagious laugh, quick wit and willingness to help others at the drop of a hat. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for anyone. Tom was a lot of things to a lot of people. He was several people’s ‘somebody.’ His ability to comfort us and make us laugh even in the hardest of times is something that we will all hold dear. There are no words to express how much his life’s work meant, or how much he was deeply loved. He will forever be missed, and his love for us all will continue.
Tom is survived by his wife, Tammy, of 32 years; his children: Elizabeth, Matthew, Debra, William Angela, Cassidy, Alex, Jillian and Chris; his six grandchildren: Kenneth, Coby, Hannah, Avery, Reed, Luke, and one granddaughter on the way; his sisters, Lynn and Kelly; nieces and nephews Jessica and Dillon, Kelsey and Cole, and a great-niece, Emerie.
A graveside service will be held Saturday, May 18, at 9 a.m. at the Kern River Valley Cemetery.