Thomas Duane Brumleve
December 2, 1930 – June 28, 2023
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Thomas Duane Brumleve, age 92, after a brave battle with cancer. He was born in Mattoon, Illinois, on December 2, 1930, to Sylvester and Rachel Brumleve.
Tom got his early education in Mattoon and then graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He served in the United States Marine Corps. He spent his career as an Electrical and Solar Engineer at Sandia National Laboratories from 1958 to 1984. He married Joan Marilyn Kerley on November 9, 1963. They enjoyed 38 years together, until she passed away on April 6, 2001.
Tom enjoyed his work at Sandia where his focus was solar energy. He was proud to have received an award from the U.S. Department of Energy, a national award for Technical Excellence in Solar Thermal Technology in 1982. In 1984, Tom retired early from Sandia and became the full-time Manager of Diablo Ranch, a cattle ranch on the slopes of Mt. Diablo.
Tom was very active in the community. He was President of the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, the Contra Costa Farm Bureau, and the Contra Costa/Alameda County Cattlemen’s Association. Tom was Chairman of the Range and Public Lands Committee, and Chairman of the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts. He was a member of the Range and Public Lands Committee, the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, the Contra Costa Agriculture Task Force, the Natural Resources Committee, and the California Farm Bureau Federation. He served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Contra Costa Farm Bureau, for the Contra Costa/Alameda County Cattlemen’s Association, for the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, for the Contra Costa Citizens Land Alliance, and for the California Native Grass Association. His leadership left a mark and made a difference in not only Contra Costa, and Alameda counties, but also at the State level.
Tom was an avid outdoorsman, adventurer, and educator. He enjoyed scuba diving and being an instructor for the Livermore Skin Diving Club. He was a founding-member of the Vaqueros of the Sea. He enjoyed cross-country skiing, canoeing, back-packing, traveling, and putting in a hard-day’s work. He climbed Mt. Shasta, hunted grizzly bears in Alaska, and canoed the Rogue River. He thought he was the first person to ever go down Glen Canyon in an open canoe just prior to its closing for the dam.
He was especially interested in range-management techniques, proper grading, and maintenance of back-country roads. Tom was actively involved in preserving agriculture and our Western Heritage, looked to improve urban understanding of agriculture, and other ag/urban interface issues.
He was active in the Fire Safe Council and the Mt. Diablo Bee Keepers Association. He was a well-respected cattle rancher in Contra Costa County. His presence in our lives will be greatly missed.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife Joan, siblings Leila and Rita, and his grandchildren Brandon and Tyler Brumleve. He is survived by his sister Sylvia and brother Ken; children, Julia “Jill” Kilcourse, Kimmie Brumleve and Dan Brumleve, son-in-law Christopher Kilcourse; and grandchildren, Will and John (Jack) Kilcourse, and Coledan and Jessiana Brumleve, as well as nieces and nephews, and treasured friends. A heartfelt thank you to Shirley Olsen for loving Tom and taking such good care of him for the last 22 years. He will truly be missed.
A mass was held at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Walnut Creek, on Friday, July 21st. A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, July 22nd at Diablo Ranch. He will be laid to rest at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations be sent to the California Cattlemen’s Association and/or the Contra Costa Farm Bureau in his name.