Obituary: Thomas Harold Liles

Special Olympian, number-one fan

Thomas “Tom” Harold Liles died on February 11, 2017 at his home in Claremont. He was 54.

He was born June 22, 1962 at Pomona Valley Hospital to Robert and Annette Liles and lived within a few miles of his childhood home throughout his adult life. He is the son of the late Robert and Annette Liles. 

Tom was born with a developmental disability and cerebral palsy. He attended El Camino School for special education in Pomona, graduating in 1984. After graduation, he worked at and attended OPARC in Montclair, a nonprofit organization enabling people with disabilities to achieve their full potential.

Tom loved boogie boarding at Newport Beach, singing and playing his guitar, dancing during the Monday Night Concerts in the Park, competing at the Special Olympics, playing with dogs, birds and tortoises and hanging out with friends and family. 

A regular at Claremont High School football games for many years, he was awarded a game ball as the team’s #1 Fan in 1983.  He enjoyed watching many sports on TV and was a devoted fan of Tiger Woods.

Tom was full of unconditional love, and he taught those around him how to be the best they can be no matter what obstacles they face. His family would like to express their deepest gratitude to all the wonderful people who helped care for Tom and help him thrive through his life.

He is survived by his older brother Robert and sisters Lyn (Gary), Leesa (Bryan) and Jan, as well as nephews and nieces Troy, Laura, Jason, Ashlee, Brent and Todd, and many friends, both human and animal.

In lieu of flowers, donations to OPARC Montclair, 9029 Vernon Ave., Montclair, CA 91763, or Special Olympics Southern California, 1600 Forbes Way, Ste. 200, Long Beach, CA 90810, would be appreciated.


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