Thomas Lee Heustis died April 24, 2016. He worked at WSU in the School of Design and Construction August 2005-Sept. 2015.
Heustis passed away after a short battle with cancer at his home in McKinleyville, Calif., at the age of 68. He was lovingly surrounded by his family. Tom is survived by his lifetime love and wife of 49 years Susie (Huddleston) Heustis; his son Todd and wife Melanie (Southwick) Heustis; his parents Jerry and Audrey (Carrier) Heustis; sister Nancy (Studebaker); his grandchildren Maya Heustis, Petra and Casimir Arbayo; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Tom was born in Maywood, Calif. on July 3, 1947. He grew up in Pico Rivera, California, and he graduated with honors from El Rancho High School in 1965. At the age of 15, Tom and Susie met and fell in love. At El Rancho Tom showed leadership qualities as captain of the varsity football team and as student body president. With a full academic and athletic scholarship, he attended UCLA.. While playing linebacker for the Bruins he earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Kinesiology . Upon graduation, he taught special education at the Marianne Frostig Center for Educationally Handicapped in Los Angeles. At CSU Long Beach he completed his teaching credentials and earned a masters in Psychology. On June 5, 1974 Tom and Susie welcomed their beloved son Todd into the family. After being a teacher and principal in Irvine, CA Tom decided to recreate his career in 1978. Moving to Paradise, CA Tom built custom homes while concurrently attending CSU Chico earning a master’s degree and teaching Construction Management.
Moving to San Diego, Tom left academics for another career in commercial construction, completing projects like the United Artist multiplex theater on top of the existing seven-story Horton Plaza. Working for construction companies like Olson Construction, Dunphy Construction, and Gafcon he concluded his career in construction management as vice president of JWC Construction and returned to academics.
In 2001, Tom and Susie returned to Northern California, where Tom took on the role of Professor and Department Chairman at CSU Chico’s nationally recognized Construction Management Program. Topping off his academic career Tom taught construction law at WSU while living in Moscow, ID from 2005 to 2015.
He loved fishing, hiking, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, bicycling and working with wood. As a father, Tom taught Todd not only how to get the right answers in school, but how to think for him