It is with heavy hearts that we report our founder, Thomas William “Tom” Heineman, passed away peacefully at home on November 5. He was 77.
Remembered for his infectious smile, insight, and generous spirit, Tom was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and moved to Livermore 30 years ago with his wife, Pat. Together they founded Bent Creek Vineyard, and in 2002 opened Bent Creek Winery with their friends Rich and Carol Howell.
Tom graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Education. He was hired by the Livermore Valley Unified School District as an elementary teacher. He continued his studies at San Jose State earning a Masters degree in Education. After teaching for several years he was appointed the Coordinator of Instructional Materials for the school district and was the driving force in getting technology into Livermore schools. He was later selected as the Director of Curriculum and Instructional Resources. He retired from education in 1998.
An educator, vintner, Rotarian, aviator, and old car buff, Tom had many talents and interests. One of his passions was restoring cars and trucks from the 1950s. There was usually a “project car” in the driveway or garage. He was also a talented designer and builder and took pride in his work. He enjoyed traveling with Pat throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He was known for his generosity and willingness to help others. Tom was happiest when surrounded by his friends and his vineyard.
Please consider donating to the Livermore Valley Education Foundation in Tom’s memory.