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Thomas Bruce Akeley

July 18, 1954 ~ August 27, 2022 (age 68)


Thomas Bruce Akeley passed away Saturday, August 27th, with his family by his side after a courageous battle with cancer.

Tom was born July 18, 1954, to Bruce and Edith Akeley. Tom grew up in Somis with his 3 sisters and attended Somis Elementary School through 8th grade and graduated in 1972 from Camarillo High School. As a young boy Tom did what all good brothers would do and lived to torment his sisters—especially his youngest, Karen. He had a mischievous sense of humor (which he displayed even up to his last days), Oh, could he be ornery as his mom would famously say!  

During the 70s Tom worked at a machine shop with his best friend and they spent every free moment riding their motorcycles or hanging out at Vi’s Café or Hollidays. Tom had a Harley Shovelhead, and then an old Indian that he rode all over California and Hawaii.

Tom loved travel and adventure. Where his motorcycle couldn’t take him an airplane, or a boat could. He treasured the ocean and all it had to offer. He would ultimately go on to dive and fish at exotic locations, but perhaps his happiest spot in the great big blue was on his sailboat docked in the Ventura marina. He would spend every weekend he could at the boat with his wife Valentina, enjoying the sun, sea and a few drinks with all his fellow marina buddies on E dock.

When Tom was on land, you would find him working with his hands. His brother-in-law Ken got him into carpentry at a young age and Tom quickly took to woodworking, becoming a master craftsman. His craft would soon take him all over where he would be commissioned to work on once-in-a-lifetime projects. While he worked on specialty projects in multi-million-dollar homes, what we probably remember him most for is all the projects here at home—the everyday things he would fix, build, and create for his parents, family, and friends. He was very giving of his talents.

He will be missed by his wife, Valentina Akeley of Agoura; Stepdaughter, Anna Barminova (Fiancé Daniel), Grandson Kian, Stepson, Yuriy Barminov, Mother-In-Law Galina Voloshyna ,Sisters, Carol Fergeson (Husband Ken) of Ventura, and Karen Akeley of Franklin, TN. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Kamlyn Burnett (Husband Robert), Chad Fergeson, Casey Fergeson, Korie Conant (Husband William), Kelly Taylor (Husband Larry), Joey Yeaman (Wife Brooke), Teresa Barone (Husband Mihei), and his great nieces and nephews Bradley, Blake, Brody, Sydney, Baylee, Emersyn, Stella, Beckett, Brixton, Gavin, Kanan, Kia, Pella, Ford, Zeppelin, Western Rose and Stephan—he was the most beloved Uncle! In addition, Tom is survived by two special twins he raised as his own, Jessy and Danielle. Tom is preceded in death by his parents Bruce and Edith Akeley and sister, Sharon Barone.

Tom was a force! Handsome, funny and magnetic with a larger-than-life smile. And while he had a playful ornery streak, he had an incredibly tender heart. He truly loved his family. He shared a very special bond with his nieces and nephews, and his greatest joy was meeting his “boo,” baby Kian just four months ago. Tom loved big and worked hard his whole life. And while those hardworking hands are now at rest, we can only imagine him off sailing across the sea, reeling in his next big fish in one hand and holding a Pacifico with lime in the other—because it’s 5 o’ clock somewhere.

Tom’s ashes will be spread at sea by close friends and family.

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