Gates, Kingsley & Gates Smith Salsbury Funeral Directors

4220 South Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA


Thinley Chodak

2 October , 19569 August , 2019

Thinley Chodak was born on October 2nd, 1956 and passed away August 9th, 2019. He was struck by a car while crossing the street on the way home from work. Thinley was husband to Migmar for 32 years, father to two children, Tenzin and Sonam, Brother to 6 siblings, and Uncle to numerous nieces and nephews for whom he was a father figure. He was sent to India at a very young age where he attended a non-profit Tibetan school and eventually received employment being responsible for the school's inventory supplies. He then moved on to work as a teacher, opened and operated a restaurant, and later became an entrepreneur trading goods between Tibet, Nepal and India. In 2000, he moved to Los Angeles, to seek a better future for himself and his family.

During his early years in Los Angeles, he moved from job to job as a cook and cashier at fast food restaurants and convenient stores. He eventually found a position doing what he loved, as a Cook at the Westin Bonaventure. In 2005, he moved his family to Los Angeles and worked multiple jobs to support his family. He worked at the Salvation Army, a retirement home and other facilities as a cook, in addition to his regular employment at the Westin.

He was an avid activist, seeking justice for his countrymen in Tibet by affiliating with the Tibetan Association of Southern California, where he also volunteered as cook during community events.

Many who knew Thinley would agree he was the hardest working person they ever met. He did everything to provide for a happy and sustainable life for his family and FAMILY always came first for him. Despite his own financial struggles, he often made generous donations to various organizations. No matter what he had been through in life, he always looked happy and had a pleasant smile on his face that brought smiles to everyone else, including unfortunate children born with a cleft lip who he supported financially.

He will always be loved and missed by all who knew him.


  • Funeral Service Monday, 19 August , 2019


Thinley Chodak

have a memory or condolence to add?


20 August 2019

I didn't have the pleasure of meeting or knowing Mr. Chodak, but I can honestly say that he did it a great job raising his daughter Sonam. It is my belief that her integrity, and honesty comes from him. These traits, have allowed SGT Chodak to excel in the Army. Mr. Chodak, will now and forever be part of the Army family. Thanks for raising a great soldier for the Army.

Ed Silva

19 August 2019

I was fortunate to meet Thinley many years ago at Ocean House, the retirement community he worked at. We interviewed and hired him as a cook and we were blessed to have him be part of the community. He was very hard working and always had an upbeat positive attitude while he worked. I remember several co-workers coming up to me and commenting on how pleasant Thinley was even when the kitchen got really busy, he was always polite to all and a great cook as well. We were further blessed that his daughter Sonam came to work for us as a server for a couple years while in high school. She was so conscientious and caring to all residents and staff, a great parenting job by Thinley as well. I wish I can do that great a job with my daughters. I will miss him greatly and am so happy that our paths crossed.

Leslie Wells

16 August 2019

I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Chodak, but I did get to meet his children. Tenzin and Sonam are two incredible human beings. They are kind, generous, intelligent, and beautiful people. I know that is, in part, due to Mr. Chodak's influence. He will live on and continue to exert his influence in this world, through them.