The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

Thomas Lugo

Dec. 9, 1946 – May 11, 2021


Thomas Lugo

Our beloved father, grandfather, husband, uncle, and friend, Thomas Lugo passed away on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 in Woodland. Tom was born on Dec. 9, 1946 in Wasco. In 1971, Tom graduated in the inaugural class of California State University, Bakersfield.

He began his career as an elementary school teacher at Karl Clemens Elementary School in Wasco. Tom later became the director of Migrant Education for the State of California Department of Education, running the largest assistance program for children of agricultural migrant workers in the country. He regularly traveled around the country and to Washington D.C., working to open the doors of opportunity and education to migrant children. He met with members of Congress and activists, and was quoted as an authority on the topic by the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and on C-SPAN.

Tom will be remembered for his endless curiosity and infinite generosity. A lifelong Californian, Tom knew every tiny town and country road of California, and he appreciated the diversity of natural wonders that his home state had to offer. He loved taking photos of the things he loved: nature, his family, and his pets. Tom was a gifted chef, and he was happiest when cooking for those he loved.

Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Tomas Negrete Lugo and Cenobia Reivas Lugo, and his siblings, Tony, Inez, Bessie, Frank, and Rufino. He is survived by his loving wife, Joanna, and his children Chris (Maria), Matt, Nathan (Jessica), Meredith (Maxwell Lipp), and his grandchildren Chris Jr, Steven, Marissa, Krystal, Cassandra, Matthew, Isabella, Baylee and Andrew, his sister Jean, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and loving friends. A memorial service will be held at his home on Friday, May 21 at 2 p.m. in Woodland, and a scholarship fund in Tom's name is forthcoming.


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