My last contact with Tom Fuentes, the long time Orange County Republican Chairman who passed away Friday, was an email correspondence right before Thanksgiving. Tom graciously wrote that he very much enjoyed the different commentaries on Fox and Hounds and our sites’ “contribution to the dialogue.” Even in battling the disease that would take his life, Tom Fuentes was still involved with the public affairs of his state and country as he had been his whole life.

We reminisced in our email exchanges about election night 1980. Despite Ronald Reagan’s imminent victory, my boss, Howard Jarvis, could not pass up an invitation from Fuentes to attend his Orange County election night event first before joining the Reagan celebration at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City.

However, because of Reagan’s lopsided victory, by the time I drove Jarvis back to Century City, President Carter had conceded, President-elect Reagan have given his victory speech, and the ballroom was empty except for a few scattered balloons on the floor. For Jarvis, however, it was important and right to accept Tom’s invitation because of all the hard work he put in on behalf of the Republican Party and for many causes.

Tom Fuentes was a tireless leader and advocate. He will be remembered as a role model for those dedicated to civic activism.

His obituary in the Los Angeles Times is here.