Thomas Duncan Dunsmuir

Thomas Duncan Dunsmuir, aged 81, passed away peacefully at home on December 30, 2019, surrounded by his family.

Tom will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 55 years, Joan; his four daughters, Katie, Ryan, Sara and Maggie; his sons-in-law Jayme Younger and Eugene Cho; his four grandchildren Tallulah, Bodhi, Beatrice and Roland; his sister Jean and her husband David Donahue; his sister-in-law Nancy Gourley; and his many nieces and nephews.

Tom was a 44-year resident of Pacific Palisades, moving here from Mamaroneck, New York. He was born in Rochester, New York, where he met and married his wife Joan in 1964. He graduated from Georgetown University and earned a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

Tom was an award-winning copywriter for advertising agencies in New York and Los Angeles. As a writer with the Children’s Television Workshop, his songs and stories for “The Electric Company” and “Sesame Street” earned him four Emmy Awards. He authored several children’s books, including “You Can’t Milk a Dancing Cow,” “There’s No Place Like Home,” “Love of Chair” and “A Cure for the Meanies.”

Tom was beloved for his humor, gregariousness and open-hearted nature. These qualities, along with his innate understanding of and love for children, were cherished not only by family and friends, but also by young viewers and readers of his work.

In his later years, Tom developed dementia and was fortunate to be able to remain living at home, cared for by his wife and by skilled and loving caregivers. He attended Opica Adult Day Care for eight years, where he received outstanding memory care support and was encouraged to express his creativity through painting as his language skills declined.

A memorial for Tom will be held on Sunday, February 16, at 3 p.m. at the Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club, located at 901 Haverford Ave. in Pacific Palisades. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Tom’s memory to Opica Adult Day Center online at