Tom Gerald Evans was born at Los Angeles Methodist Hospital on March 19, 1940 to Murrell and Lilyan Evans. He died on January 2, 2022
Tom was born adventurous. When he was 10 years old, it was written in the Reseda newspaper on August 10, 1950…”He found a shotgun shell in a nearby movie yard…He took the shell home and attempted to stick it in his toy gun…it exploded. He was treated for powder burns. His mother told me she heard the explosion, his knees went apart under her, so she continued, crawling to the back door, Tom came in, saw her and asked, “Why are you crawling on the floor?”
Tom was a member of the Sea Explorers in 1955, along with two of his good friends, Kim Pepperell and Jon Tribur. He graduated from Reseda High School on January 30, 1958. After graduation, he worked at Rocketdyne with two other good friends of his, Wayne Woodhall and Alvin Farless.
Tom’s father was a firefighter with the City of Los Angeles Fire Department. His father loved the fire department and that inspired Tom to apply. On June 18, 1961, Tom graduated from intensive eight-week training at the City of Los Angeles Fire Department’s practice tower in North Hollywood and was commissioned as a firefighter. He became an inspector three years later, working from headquarters in Los Angeles.
Tom was in the Air Force Reserve during the same period, working as an aircraft mechanic. He was also an expert auto mechanic; he could fix anything with an engine.
After getting married on September 4, 1965, having three children and moving seven times in 10 years to different towns in Southern California – from Canoga Park to Sylmar to Pasadena where we lived in 2 different rental homes before buying one in Altadena. Tom worked for the Pasadena Fire Department as an inspector. Next, he applied for a job with the state fire bureau as an assistant state fire marshal. We moved to Hemet for a year, then to Livermore for six months, then bought a house on an acre in Brentwood.
Tom liked to do everything himself in all the places we lived. In Brentwood he fenced and crossed our one acre farm. He milked the cow, rode our bull and our angus horse, fed the animals (goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys), planted and picked the vegetables from our garden, kept the acre, the house and the animals in tip top shape throughout. throughout his career. full-time fire inspector.
In 1985, we bought a house in Eureka, where we settled permanently. Tom ripped up the carpet, installed hardwood floors, removed windows and glass doors to install double glazing, painted the house inside and out, fenced in the yard and outdoor deck, and built a cabin in the trees. He installed an electric garage door opener; got a cement mixer to put a concrete floor outside to house an outdoor generator he installed. The kids gave her a Costco shed; he made a concrete floor and assembled the shed. Anything that needed to be done, he would do. The one thing he didn’t do but wanted to do – was put a new roof on the house – called off that dangerous business!
He was incredibly talented and a perfectionist in everything he did. If he hadn’t done a particular task before, he would have read how to do it, and done it! He continually amazed us with the knowledge he possessed.
Tom was a well-rounded person; he was a hiker, runner, water skier, cave explorer, mountaineer, 4-wheeler, motorcyclist. He loved ziplining, camping and loved driving for vacations in California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Kentucky… He was a family man, enjoyed life and made it fun and exciting for all of us.
Family comments below:
My dad was the quiet type but we always knew he loved us. There wasn’t a thing he couldn’t do, not a car he couldn’t fix, a house he couldn’t fix, a deck he couldn’t build, a person he couldn’t ‘he did not like. He was a wonderful example of a loving and loyal husband, a loving and caring father, a fun and adventurous friend. We are grateful to him for having lived a long and full life and for having fought so hard to continue to be with his family in this physical life. Dad was one of a kind.
Dad died of end-stage congestive heart failure. We mourn the loss of such an exceptional husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. Such a great legacy he left. He was always one of the first to be there for those around him in need. During my parents’ 57 years of marriage, their home was always full as it was a welcoming and loving place of refuge for many in need – from family members and friends to foster children. He was a man of faith and truly lived his faith actively, which had such a positive impact on so many lives. I was lucky to have the honor of being his ‘Lightning’. (He used to call me and my sister “Lightning & Thunder”.)
Tom was a saint: loving, forgiving, patient, kind, generous, helpful to all who asked. He was the best husband a woman could ever dream of or ask for; the best example of a Christian for his children and grandchildren and all who knew him. When he made friends, they were friends forever. He was the love of my life – Almighty God brought us together and kept us together. I will be forever grateful to have had Tom in my life, for his peaceful death and that our family was together when his spirit returned to the God who gave him (Eccl 12:7).
There will be a celebration of life at the Wharfinger, 1 Marina Way, Eureka on Sunday, March 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The above obituary was submitted on behalf of Tom’s loved ones. the Lost Coast Outpost manages free obituaries for Humboldt County residents. View Guidelines here.