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Thomas Edward Hopps
May 10, 1942 – April 24, 2020

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Tom Hopps, Life Member and Past President of PSAAPG. His obituary follows.

Thomas Edward Hopps, 77, passed away in the early morning hours of Friday, April 24, 2020 in Ventura, California. Tom was surrounded by his loving family and went peacefully at his favorite time of day, coffee-time. Tom was born in Alhambra, CA on May 10, 1942, and moved to Ridgecrest at an early age. He spent his youth enjoying the wonders of the desert, as well as working in his father’s sheet metal shop. Tom attributed much of his work ethic and leadership skills to those early years, when, as a teenager, he learned how to fix almost anything and also gained experience managing worksite personnel for his father.

After graduating from Burroughs High School in Ridgecrest, Tom attended Cal State Long Beach, receiving his B.S. degree in geology in 1969. During college, Tom worked part-time for Signal Oil and Gas Company, where he cemented his education and learned some important lessons about oil company life, including discovering his meticulous talent for drafting. After graduating, Tom became a field geologist for the Burlington Northern Railroad in Montana. It was during this time that Tom was locked into love by the woman who would change his life – Lydia. The two were married in 1971 at the Biltmore in Montecito, CA and they settled just down the road in Ventura – their home for the next six decades.

In Ventura, Tom began working for Argo Petroleum, where he became familiar with nearly all the geologic basins of California. His experience at Argo helped him launch his own consulting business in 1979, which led Tom and Lydia to form Rancho Energy Consultants, Inc., in 1982, when Tom’s real adventure in the Oil Industry began! Tom became the resident geological expert of the Ventura Basin, and his Ventura Basin Study Group maps and cross sections are the quintessential foundation for the area. Tom’s work in the Ventura Basin forms the foundation for all who venture there. In the geological community, Tom was revered as a mentor to many and a friend to all. Even with his considerable knowledge, Tom still loved learning, from those around him as well as from the earth below. Tom was a philanthropist to many local charitable organizations and served as President for the Pacific Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Tom was both a go-getter, and a dreamer, and he had the perseverance to turn those dreams into reality. Although the dreams never stopped, Tom had a gift for being present in the moment – appreciating his accomplishments and those of others, as well as those of mother nature. In recent years, Tom tackled the art of cooking, where his passion for perfection led him to dream up world-class meals and perfect cups of coffee. He enjoyed creating unrivaled tastes in the kitchen, and his meals became a focal point around which family and friends would gather for love and laughter. Tom was a people-person at heart… He was kind-hearted and generous, and always knew how to make a person smile, even when times were down. Those whom he touched are lucky to have his bright spirit, forever running through them.

He will be missed by all who knew him, and he will be remembered by all those who will benefit from his legacy. Tom is survived by his wife, Lydia, their sons, Ben and Daniel, daughter-in-law, Sandra, and two grandchildren, Phoebe and Jake. Tom also leaves behind his brother, Robert Hopps.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in Tom’s memory to any of the following organizations: Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation Donations can be made online at or call (805) 948-2881. Casa Pacifica Donations can be made online at or mailed to 1722 S. Lewis Rd. Camarillo CA 93012. Thomas E. Hopps Memorial Fund Pacific Section American Association of Petroleum Geologists P.O. Box 1072, Bakersfield, CA 93302.

Published on May 3, 2020 in Bakersfield.

to make a donation in Tom’s memory to the
Thomas E. Hopps Memorial Fund of the PSAAPG Foundation
(for a worthy cause to be decided soon)




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