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Thomas Toth
  • Memorial donations can be made to one of the organizations he supported:
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Memorial donations can be made to one of the organizations he supported:
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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Memories & Candles

“Tom was my supervisor at Federikson Engineering on my first job out of college. We were in a team designing two new buildings at Lawrence Livermore...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Simon Chu - San Bruno, CA

“Tom was with my late husband on the night we all met at a Halloween dance at the Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship in 1969, fully forty three years ago. ...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Margo MacVicar-Whelan - Seattle, WA

“I valued Tom's friendship for over 20 years and I couldn't have asked for a better friend. Tom was truly a unique individual who you couldn't help...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Linda Karns - Albany

“Along with overwhelming historical events, Tom was challenged by extraordinary personal developments. I think Tom's most remarkable achievement was...Read More »
4 of 8 | Posted by: Alan French - Salinas, CA

“I've pretty much decided at this point in my life that the easy people are nowhere near as interesting as the complicated souls. It takes time to...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: Rachel Dushoff - SC - Friend

“Among human relations friendship is the most wonderful and durable. Our memorable friendship really lasted from our childhood to your death. But it...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Ern Mészáros - friend

“May his soul join the precious, beautiful soul of our daughter. Carla and live on forever in our heart. I long ago chose to remember only the good...Read More »
7 of 8 | Posted by: Erika Toth - Reno, NV - Ex-wife

“Tom was a great neighbor and an even better friend. His warmth, humor and heartfelt compassion for everything was a joy to experience. He will be...Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Candy & Joe Habich - El Cerrito, CA


Thomas Toth
August 3, 1932 – October 29, 2012

Thomas Toth, a long time resident of sunny El Cerrito, died Monday, October 29, from complications of a stroke. He was 80.

Tom's early life was buffeted by great historic events. Born at the height of the worldwide Great Depression in Budapest, Hungary, he witnessed World War II including the Siege of Budapest. He emigrated to the United States in the tumultuous weeks following the Hungarian Uprising of October 23, 1956. Although never losing his affection for his native country, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1962.

Tom graduated from the Technical University of Budapest and earned his Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University while working for Mack Trucks in Allentown, PA. Recruited to California by then Standard Oil of California (now Chevron), Mr. Toth was a Registered Professional Engineer in California. He held positions in several Bay Area companies during which time he was a husband and father. In his retirement, he enjoyed working as an expert "handyman" for his friend Jim Smith who owned and managed three apartment buildings.

Known for his prodigious energy, Tom qualified for the Boston Marathon by running a sub-3-hour marathon at the age of 52. He then took up bicycling for the next 20 years, was an active ride leader for local bike clubs, rode to Yellowstone and back on his own, and completed several long tours with Bicycle Adventure Club. He still made time to play duplicate bridge and to appreciate music, particularly opera. His friends will remember him especially as chef and generous host, year after year, of memorable Hungarian dinner parties. Fiercely self-sufficient, he was always busy, even recently, with projects such as reconstructing his house and brewing beer.

He is survived by son Cornel of Reno, NV, stepdaughter Sharon Cantrell of Richmond, sister Ágnes Toth of Budapest, Hungary, and companion Beverlee French of Kensington. His daughter Carla Toth of Berkeley predeceased him.

Tom requested that there be no services. Memorial donations can be made to one of the organizations he supported: Nature Conservancy or Planned Parenthood Federation of America.