Vance was born June 21‚ 1947‚ to Bruno and Beth Tomaselli‚ in Ogden‚ Utah. In 1948‚ the family moved to California‚ where Vance’s brother‚ Michael‚ was born. They grew up together‚ playing ball and doing what young boys do. Beth enrolled the two boys in tap dancing‚ and they were awesome together. When Vance turned 14‚ the family moved to Lakewood‚ California‚ where his brother‚ Marty‚ and sister‚ Jeri‚ were born. Vance graduated from Lakewood High School in 1965.
In 1966‚ Vance married his high school sweetheart‚ Janice‚ and they soon became parents to Caryn Leigh and James Roland Tomaselli. Vance’s new brood lived in Buena Park‚ down the street from Knott’s Berry Farm. He worked at South Gate General Motors Corporation.
In 1972‚ Vance and family moved to Angelus Oaks‚ into the new cabin that the family had built on weekends. Vance continued to work for General Motors‚ making the two-hour commute every morning and evening for approximately 12 years. After General Motors closed its South Gate plant in 1983‚ Vance worked at various jobs before he came across the glass business‚ where he continued to work until his passing.
In 1979‚ Vance joined Station 15 as a paid-call firefighter. That same year‚ he also joined the San Bernardino County Sheriff Reserves‚ where he was named ‘Reserve Deputy of the Year’ in 1985.
In 1987‚ Caryn‚ married Joe Todd‚ and in 1992‚ Vance’s granddaughter‚ Carlee Ann Todd‚ was born. She was the joy and sparkle in his eyes‚ and he spoiled her terribly. Vance helped his daughter and son-in-law build their first home in Angelus Oaks. He loved to ‘talk shop’ about fires with his son‚ James‚ who was moving up in his career as a firefighter with the Forest Service.
In 2004‚ Janice passed away‚ and Vance lost his friend and sweetheart of 38 years. Vance dove deeper into his work at Station 15‚ spending much of his time at or near the station. He was very committed to the welfare of the people that worked there. Through the years‚ he planned pancake breakfasts‚ Christmas parties‚ and many other events.
Sadly‚ on February 16‚ 2008‚ Vance suffered a massive stroke while driving to the scene of a structure fire. He passed away on February 21‚ 2008.
Vance loved baseball‚ fishing‚ hunting‚ skiing‚ cooking‚ and going to church. The lives he changed by selflessly giving his love are immeasurable. We take comfort in knowing Vance died doing what he loved. Vance will be missed. Thank you‚ Vance‚ for all you did.