Thomas Arthur Kornoelje
Thomas was born on September 6, 1940 to Arthur and Phyllis Kornoelje in Grand Rapids,
Michigan. He passed away January 12, 2024 in Artesia, California, after a short battle with
cancer. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Preceded in death by Carolyn (2012), he is survived by his sons and grandchildren Ed and Amy (Charlie and Sadie), and Brian and Lyn (Justice, Liz and Sebastian), his brothers James and Arlene Kornoelje; and Phillip and Kathy Kornoelje; as well as many beloved nephews and nieces.
After graduating from Grand Rapids Christian High School, he spent time at Calvin College before graduating from Michigan State University and moving to Sheboygan, Wisconsin as a teacher. It was in Sheboygan where he met Carolyn and then moved to California to be married. In 1973 he earned a Masters in Botany from Cal State University, Long Beach.
He worked in various careers including Forest Ranger, Greenhouse Manager, Oil Refiner, and Medical Driver. He travelled extensively with his family, his wife, alone, and with various friends he made along the way. He loved music (particularly the organ) as well as solo, long-distance drives—Yosemite, Michigan and Florida among his favorites. He was active in the church—mainly Trinity and First Bellflower CRC’s. He was often perceived to be quiet, but once you earned his trust he would open up. He had a dry sense of humor and twinkle in his eye when he was about to let everyone in on a little joke. He enjoyed visiting Michigan to see his grand kids in action and was looking forward to seeing one more added grand daughter-in-law Haley Weesies who will be married to Charlie this summer. He also enjoyed getting to know great grandson Sebastian. We will miss him popping in unannounced after a cross country drive, and the regular weather reports. He was one of a kind—we think all who knew him would agree! The funeral and visitation combination service will be held at 10:30 AM on January 20 at Bell One CRC. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Artesia Christian Home would be appreciated.