Tom Gerald Evans was born in the Methodist Hospital in Los Angeles on March 19, 1940 to Murrell and Lilyan Evans. He died on Jan. 2, 2022
Tom was born adventurous. When he was 10 years old, he was written in the Reseda newspaper on August 10, 1950…“He found a rifle shell in a motion picture lot nearby…He took the shell home and attempted to hammer it into his toy gun…it exploded. He was treated for powder burns.” His mom told me that she heard the explosion, her knees went out from under her, so she kept on, crawling to the back door. Tom was coming 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 another two of his good friends, Wayne Woodhall and Alvin Farless.
Tom’s dad was a firefighter in the Los Angeles City Fire Department. His dad loved the fire service and it inspired Tom to apply. On June 18, 1961, Tom graduated from an eight-week intensive training at the Los Angeles City Fire Department Drill Tower in North Hollywood and received his appointment as a fireman. He became an Inspector three years later, working from Headquarters in Los Angeles.
Tom was in the Air Force Reserve during the same period of time, working as an airplane mechanic. He was also an expert car mechanic; he could fix anything with an engine.
After marrying in September 4, 1965, having three children and having moved seven times in 10 years to different cities 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. Then he applied for a job with the State Fire Marshals office as a Deputy State Fire Marshal. We moved to Hemet for a year, then 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 cross-fenced our one-acre farm. He milked the cow, rode our angus bull and horse, fed the animals (goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys), planted and picked the vegetables from our garden, kept the acre, house and animals in top condition all the while he was a full-time fire inspector.
In 1985, we bought a house in Eureka, where we settled permanently. Tom tore up the carpet, installed wood flooring, took out windows and glass doors to put in double-pane, painted the house-inside and out, fenced the yard and outdoor deck, and built a tree-house. He put in an electric garage door opener; got a concrete mixer to put a concrete floor outside to house an outdoor generator which he installed. The kids gave him a shed from Costco; he made a concrete floor and put the shed together. Whatever needed doing, he would do. The only thing he didn’t do but wanted to - was put a new roof on the house - overruled on that dangerous venture!
He was amazingly adept and a perfectionist at everything he did. If he had not done a particular task before, he would read up on how to do it, and did it! He continually amazed all of us at the knowledge he had.
Tom was a well-rounded individual; he was a hiker, a runner, water skiier, cave explorer, mountain/rock climber, 4-wheeler enthusiast, motorcyclist. He liked zip- lining, camping, and enjoyed driving to vacations in California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington State, Kentucky… He was a family man, enjoyed life and made it fun and exciting for us all.
Family comments below:
My dad was the strong silent 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 repair, a deck he couldn’t build, a person he wouldn’t love. He was a wonderful example of a loving and loyal husband, a doting and caring father, a fun and adventurous friend. We are thankful for him having lived a long and full life and for him fighting so hard to continue to be with his family in this physical life. Dad was one of a kind.
Dad passed away from end-stage congestive heart failure. We mourn the loss of such an outstanding husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. Such a great legacy he left. He was always one of the first people to be there for those around him in need. Over the 57 years of my parent’s marriage, their house was always full because it was a welcoming & loving place of refuge for many in need - from family members & friends, to foster children. He was a man of faith and truly lived his faith actively which made such a positive impact on so many lives. I was blessed to have had the honor of being his ‘Lightning’. (He used to call me & 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 to his children & grandchildren & 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 forever be thankful for having had Tom in my life, for his peaceful death and that our family was together when his spirit went back to the God who gave it (Eccl 12:7).
There will be a Celebration of Life at the Wharfinger, 1 Marina Way, Eureka on Sunday March 20 at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Tom’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.