Thomas James de Bettencourt died Nov. 16, surrounded by loved ones in Chico, Calif. He was 88. Tom was born in Oak Bluffs on Sept. 1, 1932 to William N. de Bettencourt and Mary M. Connor de Bettencourt. In 1954, he graduated from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore with degrees in philosophy and theology. He joined the Army in 1955 and studied Russian at the Army Language School in Monterey, Calif. In Monterey he met his future wife, Norma (Nonie) Williamson. They were married in Germany, where he was stationed, on May 3, 1958.

After Tom left the service, he held various cannery supervisor positions that took his growing family to California, Hawaii and the Philippines. They moved to Lafayette, Calif. in 1968 where Tom pursued a career in production and inventory control. They retired to Paradise, Calif. in 2000.

They were active parishioners of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Paradise. Tom was a member of a Carmelite lay religious order. The family has fond memories of Nonie playing cello and Tom singing at mass. They were married for over 60 years and blessed with five children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Nonie died Nov. 4, 2018. Four days later, the Camp fire destroyed their home.

Tom relocated after the fire to a retirement community in Chico, Calif., where he met and developed a special relationship with fellow resident Doreen Spellman.

Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, son, uncle and friend, Tom inspired and encouraged those close to him with his deep faith, love of learning, and perseverance. He was dedicated to his growing family and loved getting visits or updates from his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. He was a provider, teacher, and helping hand to anyone who needed it. He will be sorely missed.

He is survived by his five children: Michael de Bettencourt and his wife Lia, Mark de Bettencourt and his wife Ann, Stephen de Bettencourt and his wife Audrey, David de Bettencourt, Noreen Searls and her husband Kevin; seven grandchildren: Thomas de Bettencourt, Emilia de Bettencourt, Dominic de Bettencourt, Catherine de Bettencourt, Oliver de Bettencourt, Nolin Searls, Renae Searls; two great-grandchildren; his brother John (Jack) and sisters Eileen Tierney, Theresa Veinotte, and Kathleen de Bettencourt.

In addition to his wife Nonie, he was predeceased by his siblings William (Billy), Anne, Gerald, William N. Jr. (Bink), Rosemary and Maureen, his daughter in law Sujita Sklenar and grandson Jon-Michael.

A funeral mass will be held at a later date. Interment will be held at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Oak Bluffs, alongside his wife.

Donations can be made to St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 767 Elliott Rd, Paradise, CA 95969; or The Abbey of New Clairvaux, 26240 7th Street, Vina, CA 96092.