Cover photo for Tom Mathew Harvey's Obituary
Tom Mathew Harvey Profile Photo
1967 Tom 2022

Tom Mathew Harvey

May 22, 1967 — June 27, 2022

Thomas Mathew Harvey, 55, of Antelope, California, an amazing son, husband, father, brother, and friend, left us suddenly on June 27, 2022.

Tom was born in Chester, California on May 22, 1967. Tom’s mother, Frances Canales Heras, raised Tom in Gridley, California. It was just the two of them for many years, but when his baby sister Eugenia Maria Canales was born on January 3, 1978, it completed their family.Tom helped raise Gina and always loved to tease his baby sister. Tom especially loved basketball and swimming during his teenage years and even attempted to break a world record for the longest swim in history!

After graduating from high school he attended Yuba Community College. He considered becoming a paramedic, but ultimately enlisted with the U.S. Army National Guard. Tom went on to attend the California Military Academy and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1988.Tom’s first assignment as an officer was with the 40th Infantry Division, 1-143 Field Artillery Battalion where he served in a variety of roles as a Field Artillery officer. In 1999 Tom transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve, serving with the 3rd Brigade, Pacific Division, 75th Training Command. While at the 75th, he provided training support for field artillery and combat simulations systems.

In 2004 Tom was deployed to fight for his country in Iraq. He’d joined the military to do something that mattered, and this mattered to him. He developed lifetime bonds with those he served with. He earned many military awards during his career, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal.Tom retired from the Army in 2016 having achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Tom’s service to his country was a very important part of his life, and he had so much to be proud of in his military career, staying true and loyal to the end. But his love of the military paled in comparison to his love for his wife Kristin and son Alex.

Tom and Kristin had a whirlwind romance. In 1989 Kristin started volunteering at Kaiser as a Candy Striper, where Tom was working as a Transporter. After a chance meeting in the   hospital, Tom quickly asked her out on a date. Six months later he asked her to marry him. Kristin said yes, much to her mother’s dismay, but in a very short period of time Tom completely won her over, as he did everyone. Tom and Kristin had a fairytale marriage for almost 33 years. They figured out how to buy a house very early in their relationship (thank you, U.S.Army) and they were so proud to create a beautiful home that they still have today. They travelled to many places and created wonderful memories.

Early in their relationship Tom said “no cats, “so they got a turtle named Leopold. Then Kristin brought home a cat named Sabrina, and next a pregnant kitty named Circe. Of course Tom and Kristin had to keep one of her kittens, who they named Mars. Circe was also a surrogate to a kitten named Magic and of course Tom and Kristin had to keep him as well. So began a life with cats, dogs, and fish which was very fitting since Kristin worked as a Registered Veterinary Technician at the Sacramento Cat Hospital for almost 30 years. In fact, Tom also worked with Kristin at the Sacramento Cat Hospital for a very short time, with an emphasis on short, as we all understand what it’s like to work with your spouse! While working there, a hospital cat named Bandy stole Tom’s heart. Bandy was, you could say, slightly neurotic, but Tom knew he was special. Even though Tom and Kristin felt their house was at capacity, they couldn’t resist bringing Bandy home. Tom and Bandy were best friends for the next 10 years. Another kitty, Mighto, joined their family 12 years ago and brought so much comfort and joy to Tom, especially in the last few months.

After his experience with the Cat Hospital and working as the manager of a local GNC, while still serving as a Reservist in the 75th Training Division, Tom was offered the opportunity to work as a civilian contractor. He held the title of Senior Mission Command Information Systems Instructor and was able to work with the same units he’d drilled with for years. This job allowed him to travel to Africa, twice to South Korea, Hawaii, and throughout the continental United States. These were experiences that truly meant something to him. Tom always said he wanted to make the work he did fun, both for himself and his co-workers. As one co-worker has said, Tom brought joy into joyless situations.

As everyone who knew Tom knows, he loved Hawaiian shirts and had always wanted to travel to Hawaii. After he and Kristin had the opportunity to spend time there, Tom regularly wore Hawaiian shirts, but only those that were made in Hawaii. While serving in Iraq, he wore a Hawaiian shirt every Friday. “Hawaiian Shirt Friday” became a much-loved weekly observance for those posted with him. In fact, Kristin sent Hawaiian shirts to Iraq for him to pass out so everyone could join in.

In 2007, Tom and Kristin decided to expand their family. Alex was born on September 24, 2008.Having Alex defined the rest of Tom’s life. He was so proud to be a father, and so proud of Alex. Tom and Alex both loved that Alex was so tall. Though Tom had been an avid basketball player in his youth and in spite of Alex’s height, Tom never pressured Alex to play. He wanted Alex to be who he was. This was important to Tom. He was just along for the ride.

Even before becoming a dad, Tom was known for his dad jokes. Or to be specific, according to his friend Arnie Reinheimer: His God-awful dad jokes. Or as his mother-in-law Sandywould say: His sometimes questionable jokes.

Tom loved all things Marvel, especially Thor, his favorite character. He loved comic books, movies, Star Wars, and Star Trek. Most of all he loved Elvis. For Tom, the day after Thanksgiving every year was the beginning of “Elvis Season.”Tom played Elvis songs in his car, at work, and at home. Downtime for Tom was a chance to play video games, and he stayed in touch with several of his friends from the military in this way. He loved Age of Empires, World of Warcraft, Rift, Diablo, and Lord of the Rings.

Tom also loved cooking. He watched Gordon Ramsey videos on YouTube during the times he was recovering from health issues. The next trip he and Kristin were planning was to Lake Tahoe to eat at Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen Restaurant.

Until his diagnosis with polycystic kidney disease, Tom was likely one of the healthiest people you’d ever met. Though he continued to live a healthy lifestyle after his diagnosis, his body began to betray him. Through every successive health challenge he remained positive and hopeful. Even after his heart attack and triple bypass surgery in May 2022, he truly believed he had a lot more time, and that he was going to get through this. Tom was never a defeatist.

Tom is survived by his wife Kristin Marie Harvey; son Alexander Lucas Harvey; sister Eugenia Marie Canales; nephew Elijah Alexander Canales; nieces Evamarie Mae Canales, Mia Frances Davis, Mya Samalyn Davis, and Suphia Anne Simon; and beloved friends and family members around the world.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Tom Mathew Harvey, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

East Lawn Mortuary Chapel

Friday, July 22, 2022

Starts at 10:30 am (Pacific time)

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Committal Service

Friday, July 22, 2022

Starts at 10:30 am (Pacific time)

Sacramento Valley National Cemetery

5810 Midway Rd, Dixon, CA 95620

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