Remembering Thomas

In the late 70's, when Thomas wrapped his loving arms around me for the first time, I felt like I was home. This was very strange
because I was in love with someone else at the time! As I look back, I realize that it was a sign from the Fates and an accurate
omen of things to come. We had many good times together back then, but in 1980 he left some of his personal belongings with
me and took an airplane to New York to live a different life. Ten years later, when I had 7 years in recovery, he called me from
out of the blue to "check in" and it wasn't long before he was standing on my doorstep once again. --- Tom and I reunited on
New Years Eve,1990, never to be parted again. We had many good times through the years as well as rocky ones, but one
thing for sure. We learned what real love and tolerance was all about. T and I were the best of friends as well as soul mates.
He loved me exactly as I was, which is very hard to do. In fact, sometimes I think he knew me better than I knew myself, and his
perception, persistence, loyalty and gentle manners were a great gifts in my life. His deep abiding love and devotion gave me the
courage to be more, not less, than I am. He didn't want to change me. He only wanted to make things better and he did. Thomas
was the wind beneath my wings, always encouraging me to trust my heart and follow my dreams. He was not intimidated by my
feminist spirit or independence. He was strong, sexy, traditional and trustworthy, obnoxious, eccentric, funny and wild, sensual
and kind, and we both worked very hard to earn each other's trust, devotion and respect as friends as well as a couple. I loved T
with all my heart and I'm grateful that we were blessed to be in each other's lives for 35 yrs. For two old addict-alcoholics, that is
quite an accomplishment. Yes, I still miss him very much, and there are times I deeply mourn and miss his physical presence, but
his loving, protective spirit still lingers close by to bring me comfort & encouragement when I need it most.   
~ JoAnna Ells-Medina ~
- Mother -
Barbara Ensign Ells
Baby Thomas
Grandma Florence
Father - John Von Haff
Step-Father - Richard Ells

Rod, Julie, J.T.
Christina... Mariah... Savannah..
Mikey... Chelsea
The Dance is Over

I didn't think the dance would end
When life was full and sweet
When demons had been conquered
and healing was complete...
When all concerns were put to rest
with nowhere else to roam
when aging found us side by side
and laughter filled our home...

I didn't think our dance would end
when spring had just begun
When lilacs and tulips were in bloom
and winter snows were gone...
when darker skies had disappeared
and mating birds were singing
when sunlight warmed our skin at last
and days were bright & gleaming..

We knew the day would finally come
when we would say goodbye
We dreaded it with heavy hearts
and many tears were cried...
But knowing we would meet again
in another time and place
You left this realm with one last sigh
and peace upon your face

For now the dance is over
and I must walk alone
But I'll take time to reminisce
about all we said and done...
Your spirit's always near me
and your sweet love lingers on
Assuring me we'll dance again
in another time to come....

Forever yours.... Jo Jo
Thomas Daryll Ells

Thomas was born at 12"40 am in San Mateo California
on January 5, 1947 to Barbara Ensign & John Von Hoff.
He grew up in the hills of Los Gatos, then Campbell,
with great-grandparents & elders all around him.
He was the eldest child with 3 brothers and 1sister,
Jeff, Chris, Cynthia and Randy. Tom's dad, John,
passed away when Thomas was only 4 years old,
so his mother remarried Richard Ells, Randy's father,
who became a positive father figure in Tom's life.
Dick taught Thomas to be kind and gentle as well
as devoted and responsible so Tom took Dick's last
name in his youth & had many fond memories of him.

Thomas went to Camden and Los Gatos High School.
He was also influenced in his youth by his grandfather and
his uncle Lou, who taught him the construction business;
but the one he cherished most was his loving maternal
grandmother, Florence, to whom he was deeply devoted
and who became his guardian spirit throughout his lifetime.

Thomas was an old soul and wise spirit. He was one with  
Mother Nature and was most at home in the mountains.
He loved rock'n roll, blues & country music, especially
when drinking and creating projects in his workshop.
Thomas was also a very talented carpenter, plumber and
craftsman who had a gentle voice and a gift for singing.
He was a friend and a lover of  women and children and
preferred spending his time with them because
were genuine and always came from the heart. "

Thomas was a realist and basically a loner by nature, but
he did a bit of traveling and lived in many different US cities
during his lifetime. He was also a highly sensitive and
intuitive man who started drinking and drugging early in life
to alter his consciousness and cope with the pain of living
in a dysfunction world which he detested with a passion.
Although he was sober for the last 5 years of his life,
his continual struggle with alcoholism and addiction
eventually resulted in his early death from cirrhosis.

Thomas married 6 times in his life and had many lovers
before settling down for good with his beloved soul mate.
JoAnna and Thomas were introduced in 1978 by Davina's
father and became fast and loyal friends. They dated
and hung out together frequently until 1980 when the
circumstances of life took them both in different directions.
But, in 1990, Thomas showed up on JoAnna's doorstep to
re-kindle their friendship, love, and passion once again.
It was then that they entered into a
marriage of the heart
becoming committed & devoted mates never to part again.
They lived together in love and trust until high noon on
May 2, 2011, when Thomas took his last breath.
JoAnna and Davina were by his side until the end.

Thomas is survived by his 3 children, Rodney,
Julia and Johnathan Thomas; his grandchildren
Christina, Mariah, Samantha, Mikey and Chelsea
& Jo's children, Johanna, Davina, Rick & Jerry.
He was 64 years old at the time of his death
and he is greatly missed by all who loved him.
To Thomas

I never expected the love that existed
to bloom when all hoping had gone,
The times that we shared in fun long ago
had ended & scattered before we begun;
I faced my fears & heard through the years
that I could be destined for better...
But all that remained was a heart full of pain
and a box full of tattered love letters...

But the Fates did replace our union with grace
and the friendship we shared in our youth,
And what a surprise when you came to my door
and opened your heart with the truth;
At first it was shocking and hard to believe
that you followed your visions to find me,
but we took the chance and started our dance
and now we have years that are binding...

It's been quite a journey between you and I
with plenty to say between cuddles,
I wouldn't erase the love we embraced
that sustained us thru hardship & struggles...
You turned out to be my hearts destiny
with times full of laughter and pleasure,
And I wouldn't trade the life that we made
For you're truly the man that I treasure....

Love JoAnna, 1998  
Tom's Family - Friends - Early Years
Friends & Family
Thomas was a good, down to earth man. He was also an "old school" man who respected and protected
women. He had a wonderful dry sense of humor. My husband Tim (who was born the same year as Thomas)
really enjoyed him and could relate to him easily. He will be missed by both of us for sure. Thomas was a true
"man". I love the way he supported JoAnna with her spiritual work and used his hands to create spiritual objects
of art for JoAnna and our circle. Thomas, you are a special man and you will always be remembered. Thank
you for being the man you were to all of us
                                  ~ EagleFire/Rhonda ~
After moving to Carson City, Thomas used to come to Santa Clara Valley occasionally to do handyman
chores for his mom. He'd also call me when he was in town to see if I had any projects he could do at a very
nominal price, which of course I always did. As a single woman home owner, I had been ripped off by various
handymen (handy to grab my money) and was relieved when I learned Thomas could fix most anything. He
usually stayed for three or four days while working in my home, and the best part is, when I came home from
work, Thomas had dinner started. He even did the dishes when we finished eating. I always felt safe and
secure with Thomas around, and will be forever indebted to him for all the things he did for me. Thomas, you
were one of a kind. Thank you so much!  
      ~ Judith C. ~
It was always delightful to visit Thomas and JoAnna. As a 60's person I enjoyed his anti-establishment attitudes
and cynical assessments of current events. On the other hand I also loved his kindness and compassion. I think
he tried to hide that part of himself for self protection. ----- My favorite memory is of the time I talked JoAnna down
from her obsession with the chads in Florida and the election Bush stole from Gore. She was watching TV day
and night raging against the injustice. When I persuaded her to stop watching it, Thomas wanted to know why she
had listened to me and not him. I told him it took both of us to pull this off and that I had played the recovery card,
namely, that she would relapse if she didn't stop!                  
 ~Diane Truly ~
Dear Thomas,
What a lovely person you were. I remember that you would call my cell phone during retreats to talk to JoAnna,
and it never failed, we would start to talk, and we would laugh and laugh, we especially liked to talk about the hose
jobs we were getting in this world (funny stuff.) I thought of you as a big brother, and I really appreciated
everything you did for JoAnna and us girls. I miss our talks. Your love for JoAnna trickled down to our circle, and
affected us all in special ways. I miss you Thomas. Thank you for being in my life.  ----  With Love, Marilyn King
Thomas was certainly a character and had such a good sense of humor!  I'll never forget what he used to tell
us girls about what boys wanted. He'd always say: "it's all about the p***y!"  I think some of the other women
knew him better than I did but I sensed that he had a gentle heart and that his sense of humor protected his
vulnerability. When I heard he had passed, I felt so much anger toward a world that damages us so much that
we just want to check out by using addictive stuff. The world will be a sorrier place without him.
  ~ Daria Luna ~
Thomas' favorite expressions about life were: "What a mess!".... " What a Hose Job!"...&...  " Hosed Again!"
He said...."When you get up in the morning... grab your ankles and prepare yourself for another Hose Job.
If it doesn't come, for one reason or another, then you can say you had a pretty good day!"
Relaxing in the "CAVE"
T's Many Faces with those whom he shared his Life
Burying Auntie
Hamilton Ave Cave
Goodbye Old Friend!
Thomas: Hey Jo! When are you going
to start working on our relationship?
JoAnna: Right away baby! But first I
have to go to my Al Anon meeting!
Hosed Again!
Wrapping X-mas Gifts
Having Fun with the Children
Our Final Days Together
Memorial Circle for Thomas -- Beltane, 2011
Return to Home Page
We loved talking on the phone!
What a Hose Job!!!
Our Song

Others have touched me soft in the night
Others have kissed me and held me tight,
Good times and lovers, yes I've had a few
But I was just waiting for someone like you!

I have been lonely and I have been loved,
I've grown used to losing what I'm fondest of,
But now I see clearly that my whole life through
I was just waiting for someone like you!

I never wasted a minute of my time,
Cause every single road I took just led me to your side...
And now it seems funny that I never knew
I was just waiting for someone like you!
I'll catch you all later!
Welcome to my
What a Mess!!!