Thomas Joseph Houchins

Thomas Joseph Houchins passed away on Monday, June 22, at the age of 76, at his home in Brentwood, after a long illness.

He touched many lives with his humorous spirit and simple outlook on life.

Thomas was born in Oakland and attended Castro Valley High School until entering the U.S. Air Force in 1962. Shortly after completing that service, he joined the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department in 1968, where he followed in the path of his father, Thomas L. Houchins, who was the 19th Sheriff of Alameda County.

Once he left the Sheriff’s Department in 1982, he began a journey of pursuing a wide variety of interests, both in his next careers, as well as in his personal life. All of his life he was a motorcycle and racing enthusiast. In adulthood, he realized a childhood dream and learned to fly an airplane and worked toward getting his pilot’s license.

He was an avid reader, enjoyed the outdoors and especially shooting sports. In his later years, he competed often in rifle and skeet tournaments at the Diablo Valley Rod & Gun Club, where he enjoyed many friendships. Over the years, he was “Dad” to many cats and dogs.

He is survived by his three children, Cristy Houchins of Bay Point, Jeffrey (Jessyca) Houchins of San Diego, and Amy (Shayne) Fuller of Meridian, Idaho; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His parents and his younger brother all preceded him in death.

Friends and family are invited to a memorial at TJ’s home in Brentwood, hosted by his children. We will gather to celebrate TJ’s life on Saturday, Aug. 1, at noon. For questions or more information, please email TJ’s kids at: