Tom Bates 1940-2024


Long-time Malibu and Topanga resident Tom Bates passed away on February 27, 2024, at 83 years old.

Tom was raised by a single mom working multiple jobs in the inner city of Los Angeles. He would spend hours in the library reading history books to avoid the “rougher elements” on his way home from Manuel Arts High School. By chance, he attended a summer camp in Topanga for inner-city youths in the early 50s. Despite finding out not to touch the oily plant with three leaves by the creeks (poison oak), he instantly fell in love.

In Topanga and Malibu, he found the peace and tranquility he had always sought. While he lived throughout the greater Los Angeles area and in Seattle while in the Army/National Guard for a short time, he always found a way back to the canyons and beaches that meant so much to him. He instilled a love of nature in all his family members.

Many readers may know Tom from his days at Red Carpet Realty or Malibu Realty. He loved showing Topanga and Malibu to his clients and helping them find the property that was just right for their needs.

A fierce property rights activist and follower of politics, Tom once served as the President of the Malibu Republican Club and was often asked to speak about property rights. He loved to share his views and opinions, whether requested or not!

Tom was a genuine and true friend to many.

Tom is survived by his son Ryan, daughter-in-law Kathy, daughter Jayme, and three wonderful and loving grandchildren, Parker, Nicole, and James.
“Grandpa” will be missed…

The family will hold a private ceremony for Tom’s passing. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the American Red Cross, where Tom, who had a rare blood type, donated countless times to help those in need.