Robert Tomás Olmos, 72, of Los Angeles passed away unexpectedly on October 31, 2020. He was born in Kingsburg, CA on November 6, 1947 to Fidel and Dolores Olmos.
Tomás attended Kings River Elementary and Kingsburg High School where he received many academic honors and was a star football and basketball player. After attending Reedley College, he was part of the first group of Latinos who integrated public universities during the late 1960s, graduating from UC Santa Barbara in 1969 and Boalt Hall (Berkeley Law) in 1972, as his older brother Mario had done a year earlier.
Tomás returned to the San Joaquin Valley to start a family and distinguished legal career. He worked at California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) where he represented farm workers suffering civil rights abuses. Later, he moved to Los Angeles to hold key positions with the Western Center on Law and Poverty, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Finally, retiring in 2016 from the prestigious law firm of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg where he represented victims of employment discrimination.
Tomás volunteered as a Board member, Dean and Professor of Constitutional Law and Evidence at Peoples College of Law. He spent nights and weekends teaching students who may not have had access to a traditional legal education otherwise.
Tomás was proud of his modest upbringing in rural Kingsburg and working alongside his parents and siblings in the agriculture fields and packing houses of neighbors and local families. He enjoyed frequent trips to the San Joaquin Valley to visit family, professional colleagues, friends and former classmates. At home, he quietly thrived in the outdoors, hiking and gardening, which reminded him of his father, Fidel. He loved music, filling the house with a continuous soundtrack of many genres. When traveling to other countries, he completely immersed himself in their rich culture and traditions.
Tomás never stopped championing legal rights for the disenfranchised. Tomás was an activist his entire life, a commitment he passed on to his children who he took great pride in.
He is survived by his wife Dolores Leal; children, Xochitl, Jaime and Joaquin; grandchildren, Atticus Cruz Jackson and Adelina Paz Jackson and siblings, Fidel Jr., Dolores, Frank, Edward and Mary Olmos. Tomas was preceded in death by his parents, Fidel and Dolores Olmos, and brother, Mario Olmos.
A Memorial Service was held on November 9, 2020 at Forest Lawn Glendale.
A Funeral Mass was held on November 10, 2020 at Our Mother of Good Counsel in Los Angeles, CA.
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