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James “Jim” Roland Tormey Jr.

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Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 11:35 am

James “Jim” Roland Tormey Jr. passed away on Oct. 5, 2013, in Medford, Ore., at the age of 78. Born to James R. and Hope Allario Tormey of San Jose, Jim was raised in San Mateo, attended San Mateo High School (Class of 1953), then San Jose State University (Class of 1957), where he met and married Mary Pat O’Donnell, also of San Mateo, in 1957.

He resumed his studies after his ROTC service to earn his law degree from Santa Clara University in 1960. He returned to San Mateo, where his five children were born, raised and educated. Jim practiced law from his San Mateo offices until 1997, when he retired to his family’s beloved ranch on the California-Oregon border.

Jim was first elected to the Board of Trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District in 1971 and served on that board for 24 years. He was a founding director of the Borel Bank & Trust Company (now Boston Private Bank & Trust) from 1979 to 2002, and served as Judge Pro Tem in the San Mateo County courts from 1972 to 1997.

Jim was an active member of several service and professional organizations, continuing many of those associations for decades. He often served as president or board chair, including during his service for the San Mateo County Congress of Elected Officials, San Mateo Heart Association, Combined Health Agencies Drive, the Bombay Bicycle Riding Club and the Kiwanis, which he joined in 1963. Jim was a fierce advocate for public education, an avid skier, dedicated outdoorsman and appreciator of the challenges and rewards of the rural lifestyle.

Jim is survived by Mary Elizabeth “Liz” Tormey, his wife of 28 years, of Medford, Ore., and his children, Anne (Richard) Freeman of Auburn, Erin Tormey of Half Moon Bay, Christopher Tormey of Auburn, Gregory (Stacy) Tormey of Cotati, Marc (Deanna) Tormey of San Mateo, stepdaughters Tobi Fenn of Fremont and Jacqueline (Clinton) Ward of Redwood City, cousin Bob (Debbie) Gheret of Moss Beach, and 11 treasured grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of James R. Tormey Jr. can be made to either the H.E.A.L. Project ( or the San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation ( and will be greatly appreciated by his family and friends.

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