Thora T. Purdom
Thora T. Purdom
  • November 1, 1925 - September 28, 2017
  • California

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Thora T. Purdom, 91, a former resident of Pebble Beach and Corral De Tierra passed away peacefully at The Park Lane Memory Care Facility after a brave battle against Alzheimer's Disease.
Thora was born in Chaing Rai, Thailand, one of ten children born to Bertel and Pimpa Thorangul and was the last surviving child of the family. She spent her childhood years between Chaing Rai and Chaing Mai, living at the family's tobacco plantation. Thora was a completive athlete in school excelling in soccer, tennis and badminton. But, her true calling was academics. Thora attended the Dara Academy in Chaing Mai where she was always at the top of her class as well as class president. While attending school she managed to survive the numerous air raids and bombings during the Japanese occupation of World War II. Unfortunately, two of her brothers were killed during those bombings. Thora next attended the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, the oldest institute of higher education in Thailand. She excelled in her academics and received a Fulbright Scholarship. She traveled to the United States and attended the University of Southern California. While at USC, she participated in a tour of California. One of the many stops brought her to the Monterey Peninsula. She immediately fell in love with the beauty of the area and hoped to return. After receiving her degree from USC, she returned home to Thailand and began working at the US Consulate in Chaing Mai. During that time she was offered an opportunity to write a Thai Text tor the US Government at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey. She immediately took the job.
That job spanned 35 years of civil service at the DLI, from text writer, language instructor, chairing the Thai Dept. and South East Asian group to linguistics training at UCLA and University of Michigan. During her tenure, she met her future husband John Purdom, who was installing a phone in her office. They married June 1, 1961 and were blessed with their only child, John Jr. They eventually settled in Pebble Beach, California.
Thora enjoyed traveling, cooking, entertaining and reading. Always seeking knowledge, it was not uncommon for her to read 5-6 different books at a time.
Her biggest enjoyment was her grandchildren and her extended family, often hosting large parties.
After retirement, she was involved with the Parade of Nations and the League of Women Voters.
Thora was predeceased by her 9 siblings and husband John Sr. She is survived by her son, John, his wife Heather and his 4 children Jake (JP), Jessica, Johanna and Jackson as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family requests donations to Alzheimer's Research Association, 21 Lower Ragsdale, Monterey, CA 93940 and VNA Hospice. They also gave special thanks to the Park Lane Memory Care Center.