Atascadero, California – Tahoma Hemingway Mulder, age 94, died April 22, 2021, with her family by her side.
Tomie, as she preferred to be called, was born in Los Angeles, CA. Her family moved to the Central Coast during The Great Depression when Tomie was five. She was the only girl in a family of five children. Her mother and father relied on Tomie to help take care of “the boys.” Tomie nurtured her brothers and was like a second mom to them.
Tomie attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse in North County and graduated from Atascadero High School in 1944. During high school, she was the editor of The Hilltop Newsletter; after graduation, she continued to write the newsletter and sent copies to Atascadero High School soldiers serving in WWII. After high school, she married Robert Wescom, and they had two children: Gary and Jeanne.
Tomie was a passionate person who poured herself into meeting every goal she set. She wanted to see it all and do it all. She liked to say, “I was hell on wheels!” True to her lifelong need to control how her life would continue and grow, she wrote most of this obituary. She was strong, opinionated, and hard to forget.
Tomie married George Mulder in 1974. Together, they started El Paso de Robles winery. They worked hard to achieve their dream, and they made great wine. The winery was eventually sold, and Tomie and George moved to Shell Beach. They shared many happy years together until George’s death in 2000.
Tomie always longed for adventure. She traveled with George and continued to travel after his passing. Her adventures took her to every continent, ending with Antarctica.
Tomie valued education and graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a Home Economics degree and Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in counseling and guidance. She was a continuous learner and took numerous courses locally and at USC. She held several jobs over her lifetime: at a girls’ home in LA, Director of a local BlueBirds program, a winemaker and winery owner, running a Christmas tree farm, and consulting with Atascadero State Hospital.
Tomie hoped to become the oldest living woman in the world. While she didn’t achieve that goal, she lived a full and significant life.
Tomie is survived by her children, Gary Wescom (Faith), Jean Hall (Stanley), Brother Edward Hemingway, Stepchildren: David Mulder (Melanie), Janet Anderson (Mark), Jeanne Neely (Bill), and Darren Mulder. She was preceded in death by her husband George Mulder, parents Almyr George and Marjorie Hemingway, her brothers Frank, Del, and Raymond Duke Hemingway. She is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Dr. Bagheri, Home Instead, Ingleside, and Hospice Central Coast for their wonderful care of Tomie. Special thanks to Nurse Ruth, who will always be a part of “Team Tomie.” No formal services will be held.