Los Feliz has lost a loyal and long-term friend in the passing of Tom LaBonge.
The board of directors of the LFIA offers its gratitude for his unwavering support of our community during his decades at City Hall. For those of us who want to remember Tom, we simply need to take a hike into Griffith Park. Surely, his spirit is present in its unblemished wilderness, a strong testimony to Tom’s tenacious protection of the Park.
Tom died at his Silver Lake home on Thursday, January 7, 2021.
Tom got a few of us from LFIA together for a tour of what, in his mind, were the biggest issue areas facing the community. What was meant to be a quick outing turned into the most interesting all-day excursion covering the history of Los Feliz, Silver Lake, and Tom himself; little-known resources and hidden gems in the area; and the promised problems but also opportunities. And it all took place in Tom’s Ford Crown Victoria convertible. What a wild ride–an experience only Tom LaBonge could deliver. — LFIA President Amy Gustincic
Tom was an amazing man. He remembered all in our community by our names. He had an understanding and remembrance of all who gave time and attention to our community and especially the Los Feliz neighborhood. I personally disagreed with him several times but came to know he supported the majority and took the time to know how best to support his constituents. He rescued our dogs when they could have burned to death for which I will always love him! Thank you Tom. I will miss you. We will miss you. RIP. — LFIA Member Lon Wahlstrom
From the Los Feliz Ledger:
It’s heartbreaking. — Dr. Ed Krupp, director Griffith Observatory
We loved calling Tom LaBonge “Mr. Everywhere” because he basically was everywhere during the course of a day–hiking in the park, Starbucks mid-morning or visiting and helping out at LA Shares on Riverside Drive. I have to say with a heavy heart that I’m going to miss my friend with the biggest heart in Los Feliz and beyond. He always ended phone conversations with ’10-4′–which will now take on a whole new meaning.— Lynne T. Jewell, LFIA
There will never be anyone like him. Tom was one of a kind and a true L.A. son, who exuded L.A. love and L.A. pride. A consummate storyteller and guide, he was and forever will be, Mr. Los Angeles. Prayers and love to his first lady Brigid and the entire LaBonge family. – David Ryu, former Los Angeles City Council District 4 Councilmember
Newly-elected Council District 4 Councilmember Nithya Raman said LaBonge set an example of the best way an elected official worked for his constituents. “Every single one of my neighbors in Silver Lake has a story about how Tom personally resolved an issue they were facing in their community. That’s the kind of person he was. He would drive the district regularly, talk to his constituents, and whenever possible attempt to solve their problems personally and on the spot,” Raman said in a released statement to the Ledger. “The example he set in running his office leading with his sincere love for the city and his love for Angelenos is one I’ve taken to heart and one that my office hopes to emulate as we move forward.”
Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times: Deaths of Tommy Lasorda and Tom LaBonge leave a hole in the heart of the city
The Los Angeles Times: Former LA Councilman Tom LaBonge, known to many as Mr. Los Angeles, dies at 67