Tom Visel, 76, of Idyllwild, left this life Tuesday, Nov. 24 in his home while in the care of his family. He was born in Anaheim, California to Adele and Wesley Visel.
He served the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War. After the Navy, he met Karen Wallace, the love of his life. They married in 1971 and moved to Northern California where he worked as a firefighter and EMT.
After the birth of their two daughters, Tom and Karen returned to Idyllwild. He left the Forest Service to work at ISOMATA (now Idyllwild Arts Academy) until he became Idyllwild’s local locksmith.
A strong advocate for community, Tom trained EMTs, volunteered for Mountain Disaster Preparedness and was an officer at the American Legion. He donated blood to the Red Cross for 58 years.
As a hobby, Tom was a licensed pyrotechnician and found joy in cooking. He sang bass in the Idyllwild Master Chorale and could be heard singing to tunes in his head. Tom was always ready to help a friend (or stranger) in need.
Tom leaves behind his daughters Alexae and Kelly, son-in-law Herbert, brother Dave, sister Jean and a mountain community he loved with every breath.
Due to the pandemic, a memorial will be held on a future date with warmer weather and hopefully hugs to share. Condolences can be sent to his family at P.O. Box 1186 Idyllwild, CA 92549. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the American Red Cross.