Thomas Anthony Evans passed away at the age of 99 on October 23, 2019, in his home with his family in Clinton, NY. Beloved husband of Patricia Renfro Evans; devoted father of Peter, Noel, Timothy and Thomas Evans; devoted grandfather of Benjamin Evans, Zander Evans, Peter Allen-Lamphere, Chloe Taylor Evans, Julian Taylor Evans, Sylvie Evans, Lace Campbell, Derick Evans, Olivia Evans, Siena Evans, Cooper Evello; and devoted great-grandfather of Violet Srinivasan Evans, Karuna Srinivasan Evans, Mahko Haozous, Benchiye Haozous, Quyen Lamphere, Aidan Campbell, and Alia Campbell. Tom was also devoted to his dog Walker and cat Mango.
Born December 31, 1919 in Plainfield, New Jersey, Tom grew up with his father, Noel G. Evans, his mother Violet Truell Evans, and three sisters, Violet, Elizabeth, and Rosemary (Lucy). He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1939 and earned a BA from Utica College in 1969. He attended Hamilton College but left during WW II to train as a pilot and teach instrument flying. He married his first wife, Margaret Brandt Evans, in 1940 in Scarsdale NY. After a period flying for American Airlines, they moved to Clinton, NY, and raised their family of four boys. He began working for the Utica Mutual Insurance Company as an underwriter, and eventually retired as a vice-president.
Tom went on to experience a second career volunteering in day care centers in Clinton, New York, and Key Largo, Florida, and as a volunteer teaching assistant in the Clinton Elementary School. Already the pater familias of a large family, his decades of service to children expanded the great number of people touched by his kindness, wise understanding, tolerance, warm mentoring spirit, and natural pedagogical skills.
After the death of his first wife, Tom married Pat Renfro in 1992. They lived in Florida, upstate NY, and Southport, ME, where Tom had spent summers since he was a small boy. He admired and enjoyed the company of the local lobstermen. He and Pat went off on adventures - sailing, renovating a boat that took them up and down the Atlantic coast, and driving around the U.S. and Canada in a camper they also renovated.
With the true soul of a musician, Tom delighted people as a jazz pianist all his life. He played with a trio during lunch hours at Utica Mutual, and they entertained people with the upbeat but cool jazz he loved. Music was one of many talents. For example, Tom was also a very skilled watercolorist, painting some fifty individual Christmas cards every year for half a century. He had a way with words and everyone who received his letters and blogs read them avidly.
Most of all, Tom Evans was a complete pleasure to be around, for everyone who knew him — warm, charming, wise, loving, and always ready to give someone the benefit of the doubt, especially the less fortunate among us.
Family and friends will gather at noon at the Kirkland Art Center in Clinton on November 17, 2019 to celebrate Tom’s life, with a memorial service from 1:30 to 3 p.m. There will be another memorial gathering in Southport, ME on August 29, 2020. Donations in Tom’s name can be made to the Maine Lobsterman’s Community Alliance (mlcalliance.org.) and A Better Chance (ABC) (abetterchanceclintonmv.org.).