A San Bruno and San Mateo County resident for 27 years entered into rest in Burlingame, California on March 23, 2015. Born on February 9, 1952 in Redding, California.

Tom was a popular course worker and occasional driver in the region for several years.


December 5, 1919-January 9, 2015
Age 95

Dave Jalen (FF driver) writes: I am sad to report my dad, Henry Jalen, passed. My dad was almost a 25 year SCCA member (one month short). He was at just about every race with me until this last year when his health started to fail. He was able to attend the Runoffs at Laguna.

It is with great sadness that we are announcing the passing of one of the greatest dads from the Greatest Generation. He is survived by his loving family: his two sons and their wives, Dr. and Mrs. David and Felicia Jalen and Mr. and Mrs. Douglas and Deborah Jalen.

Henry served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a combat fighter pilot in WWII seeing action in the South Pacific and then being called back from the Marine Corps Reserves for the Korean War. He could talk for hours about the joy of flying his F4U Corsair fighter plane. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1979 after having attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Semper Fidelis is the Marine Corps motto and means “always faithful”.

Henry’s less glamorous, non-military career started as an Electrical Engineer. He received his Bachelor degree from Ohio University in 1941and then after WWII, he received his Masters from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. His main focus became crane controls.

He loved snow skiing and Lake Tahoe. After retiring as the plant manager of a crane manufacturing company, he moved to Lake Tahoe to bike ride during the summer months and ski during the winter.  He would regularly come back to the SF Bay Area to visit his sons and participate in family activities.

One of David’s, his oldest son, hobbies is auto racing. This seemed like the perfect father-son activity so Henry joined the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in 1990 to participate as David’s crew chief.  As they traveled to the different race tracks, they made friends with an incredible group of guys: their fellow racers and the crews. The friendships they formed were even more satisfying than the racing, because whether you are having a good day or bad on the track, the people you share the stories with after the racing is done are the best.

One of our fondest memories was coming home from the races, putting the race car away and unpacking all the gear and tools, showering and then going for dinner to celebrate another great time together. We would each order a martini and filet mignon with baked potato. Aw, life was good. When we were not racing, Henry would talk for hours about the racing, the great friends and the shared experiences.  And, of course, at the race tracks he would spellbind anyone who came by about flying combat missions in WWII.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Gentiva Hospice Foundation, 7801 Mesquite Bend Dr., Suite 105, Irving, TX 75063 (www.gentivahospicefoundation.org) and then raise a glass of Cabernet or a martini with that filet and toast a great dad, Henry Jalen. We will miss you.

Semper Fidelis.