35 year city employee passes away with wife by his side at 82

Submitted to the Tribune
Thomas Fay Senior, gave 35 years of service to the city of South Lake Tahoe

Thomas Fay Sr. (1941-2023)

​It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that comes the announcement of ​Thomas Fay Sr. has passed away at his home in Quartzsite, Arizona with his wife of 58 years, Jane Fay, by his side.  He was 82 years old.

​He is survived by his wife Jane Fay, his children Thomas Fay Jr. & Nicole Fay Kleinman, grandchildren: Anais and Sinjin Fay & Blake and Madison Rosales, and foster child, Nancy Fay Findley.

South Lake Tahoe has lost a true legend. Throughout his time with the City, a total of 35 years, Tom’s devotion to the City was second only to his devotion to his family.  He demanded hard work and dedication from the people who worked for him, which was a reflection of his own commitment. 

​Tom Fay went to work for The City of South Lake Tahoe as a maintenance worker in the Public Works Department in the summer of 1968.  This was just prior to one of the heaviest winters on record.  The Tahoe Basin was hit with snow early, then on Christmas Eve, the snow became heavy and steady.  The crews worked 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in 12-hour shifts from that evening until the first week in February when the snow let up sufficiently to allow for a day off.  This experience helped establish a bond among the crews that continued throughout Tom’s time with the City.

​However, this was not Tom’s first experience with heavy winters.  The winter of 1951-52 has long been, and still is, the benchmark of heavy winters at Tahoe.  Although Tom was only 10 years old that winter, he remembered it well and told many stories of the struggles surviving through that time without the modern conveniences we enjoy today.

Continuing his employment with the City until 1973, until deciding to take on the adventure of moving to Tok, Alaska.  After one winter in Alaska, 

Tom and his family moved back to Tahoe and Tom went back to work for the City’s Public Works Department where he redoubled his efforts and commitment to do the best job possible for the City.  

Quickly rising to the position of Lead Worker because of work ethic and the skill he brought to work every day. Fay was then promoted to Street Maintenance Supervisor, and then Street Maintenance Superintendent.

Highly respected by his peers and by those who worked for him. This was in large part because he never asked anyone to do anything he was not willing to do, or in fact, had already done himself.

​Some South Lake Tahoe old timers might say Tom Fay Sr. was a troublemaker, but when he met Jane in 1965, he turned his life around for the better!  By 1970 Tom and Jane were married and had adopted two children, Tom Jr. and Nicole.

​The Fay Family spent their weekends and vacations jeeping through the Rubicon Valley, hiking, biking, camping, skiing, rafting, snowmobiling, and every other outdoor sport one could imagine, all parts of the life that growing up in Tahoe offers.

​Tom and Jane were intense supporters of the South Tahoe High School Basketball Program.  They were a vital link when it came to transportation of the teams, year round, regardless of location or conditions outside.  They never missed a game and could always be seen and heard in the crowd.

​Tom Fay Sr. will always be remembered for his hard work and devotion to the City of South Lake Tahoe, by the solid group of lifelong friends he kept in his tight circle, and of course, the adoring family he always loved and supported!

​Special Thanks to: Ed Brauner, Nicole Fay, & Tom Fay Jr.

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