Obituary: Thomas Karl Voelkel

Father, woodworker, climber

Thomas Karl Voelkel, 57, died July 20, 2017 of natural causes.

Mr. Voelkel was born June 3, 1960 in New York City. He grew up in Claremont, California and Marburg, Germany. He attended Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California, and Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He earned a master’s of fine arts degree from Claremont Graduate University in 1988.

He lived much of his life in and around Santa Cruz, California. He was an accomplished woodworker, and worked in various occupations at the intersection of art and construction. He was also an avid climber, whose accomplishments included summiting Yosemite’s Half Dome.

Mr. Voelkel married Sirima Sataman in 1988. The couple’s son, Madison, was born in 1993. He and Sirima parted in 2005.

He is survived by his son Madison Voelkel, his mother Martha Voelkel, and his brothers Andrew Voelkel and James Voelkel.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. October 14 at Claremont United Church of Christ’s Kingman Chapel. In lieu of flowers or donations, the family asks for photographs and remembrances to be emailed to


Submit a Comment

Share This