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Thomas Wachtell Veteran
February 01, 2021


The “legendary” Tom Wachtell went to his maker on February 1, 2021. He was at peace, at home, and surrounded by the people he loved.
Tom was born to Ted and Carolyn Wachtell in Bronxville, New York in 1928. He attended The Choate School, Syracuse University, and Cornell Law School. He proudly served his beloved nationas a Lieutenant Commander in the Office of Naval Intelligence posted in Southeast Asia.
Tom married Esther Pickard Wachtell and together they left the snows of Ithaca for sunny California. He joined Occidental Petroleum as the third employee of that young corporation, ultimately becoming its Executive Vice President. He continued to enjoy an active career in the energy business for 40 more years as President of Merritt Energy Corporation. Tom was a Founder and Board Chair of the Music Center Opera Association and Director of the Music Center of Los Angeles County. He served on the Cultural Commission of the 1984 Olympics.
He was also a member of The Chevalier de Taste Vin. He served on the board of the Good Hope Foundation for 46 years. Recently, his philanthropic interests have centered in Ventura County where the family has a small lemon orchard.
Tom’s proudest achievement and greatest joy was his large extended family: Children; Roger and Kathy Wachtell, Wendy Wachtell and Bob Graziano and Peter and Debbie Wachtell plus 13 grandchildren; Ashley, Alexis and Lauren Wachtell, Matthew and Elise Graziano, Brian Graziano, Jameson, Bradley, and Davis Wachtell, Makenzie, Bryce, Tommy and Katherine Wachtell plus in-laws, siblings, significant others and more. He also leaves two beloved German Shepherds; Maggie and Becky.
Prayers are welcome to send Tom on his way to God. A celebration of his life will take place over the July 4 th holiday when all his family will be able to fully participate and his honors can be shared with the nation he loved so much. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you give extra love to your family and community.
Arrangements are under the direction of JOSEPH P. REARDON FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICE, Ventura.

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Joseph P. Reardon Funeral Home & Cremation Service
757 East Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001